Friday, August 31, 2012

Romney And Obama Are Missing The True Message: Stop American Bosses From Bullying Employees

Disciplining yourself to write daily may come across as a challenge but in reality it's nothing more than a good habit. Kind of like brushing your teeth, combing your hair or hitting Face Book the moment you get to work. Ok, maybe that one's not so good. Although Julia Cameron believes we were "All" born to write. The lack of seeing others releasing wind from their creative imaginations says to me, "You're a frickin freak!" There's a major difference between being a writer and an author. I find no energy in releasing books. My first publication came with empty emotions. I wanted that Olympic feeling of jumping around a room and shouting out thoughts of celebration. I remember sitting on the sofa and softly saying, "This is incredibly embarrassing." Ask me to pen out wedding vows for a Bride and Groom and I explode with excitement! Slip me into a recording studio with an advertising client and instantly the radio guy leaps out of me into a pair of listener tennis shoes. I truly miss being that person. The innocent listener that thinks radio people pick the music. The listener that's convinced there's always a party. The listener that mistakenly discovers a new song on the radio and is convinced Maroon 5 wrote it especially for them. Writing daily doesn't make me a better radio person. The act of writing opens my imagination to the innocence of forever being the listener. I never know what mood I'm gonna be in. Six seconds after waking everything around me finds tremendous passion in listening to unforgettable music played by birds and late night merriment frogs that have waited impatiently for the sun to rise. The moment a writing instrument slips into place all that music is swapped out by a set of lungs that have chosen to expand by way of sending out an internal email that gently shouts out to the heart, brain and stomach, "Oh crap! Who will he be today?" If there's to be an ego present it never arrives while ink pours into the veins of a tree said to have lived to one day be a page. The ego of a writer isn't fed by overconfidence but having the courage to come back to what had been written in days long gone and yet the rounded message shared can fit into any square corner. Labor Day Weekend 2012... the newsman said, "A newly released report from Career Builders claims 75% of all American employees believe they're being bullied at work by bosses." Two years ago...this very weekend. I had already approached this subject and to this day I've yet to see change. Why do we need three days off? Friday 09-03-2010 10:09am ET Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Labor Day Weekend! During these modern days of extra work with barely enough pay one can’t help but be tremendously shocked that this 72 hour coffee break still exists. There’ll come a time when a mid-Sunday conversation with your grandchild will burst from its hidden clutches, “I am truly part of the final generation to enjoy the good old days.” Lawmakers consistently chastise China for their working conditions but no United States Senator, member of the House of Representatives or Mayors office has pulled off an American investigation into the weakening of the arms, legs and backs of what once stood tall as the world’s most productive people. Small business is a joke…they’re seen as beginners with big hopes and fantasies and within an unexpected breath they are eaten up by large corporations with fancy lawyers paid to do nothing more than keep a onetime powerful American imagination near or below the poverty level. The only competition on today’s business home front is between two employees fighting over who gets to sit by the window. Raise your hand if you work just because you need insurance. I didn’t come to this computer page to rat on the pyramid of leaders who’ve continued to make millions after they’ve sliced their work forces to an extremely thin performance. It’s accepted behavior. We’ve drank the Kool-Aid. We walked right into this haunted house of a recession with no train tracks to lead us out. This Labor Day Weekend; spend time in the bathroom mirror staring into the eyes that have been with you since birth. Watch the home videos they’ve created. Study your reactions to actions generated by department heads and ask yourself, “Did I become who I am because of what I did or am I what they failed to make me?” Change will not incur until we as a people recognize the importance of what being at work once meant to a growing people that came from places deeply dampened by crooked cowards that gained access to decision making. Nobody lifts their voice of concern any more. My stepfather Joe would be laughed out of town while being labeled a loud mouth trouble maker. Mom constantly told me of the 30’s and 40’s being the worst of times—having to work in bullet factories as a teen to help her family survive. She still tells the tale of tall businessmen walking slowly down each unpainted row demanding more energy from the workers because there was always somebody else who could make bullets faster. But quickly she’ll change the subject officially declaring those early years as the best of times, leaving me in a state of confusion. One minute they’re horrible while at times she sounds as if she’d like to one day return. September 3, 2010…the gateway to Labor Day Weekend…if you could, where do you wanna go back to? Was there a time in your life when struggles were still looked upon as being innocent, fresh and new? If we truly are the final generation to endure the good old days…where on your built in GPS system did you feel safest? Rather than wasting your time with happy Arroe trials and trails…I leave you with a burst of belief. If I were your boss there would be reason to believe in you…because it’s you, yourself and whom ever you want to be that builds the necessary confidence to put a thought into motion. In a world fed by a driving need to be an arm chair business quarterback, the last thing you require is a purpose to retire. Relocate that zone you call your own. Find it to be everything you left it to be. And when you return locate the strength to shake its hand not once but everyday thereafter. For who you are today is always behind until you step up and realize dreams never die, they patiently wait until you’re through with your day…then visit you late, late at night. We don’t have to be the final workings of a people assumed unstoppable. Bosses come and go just like three day weekends meant to honor the work force. Without you they’ll probably find another but you without you is a mission like no other. While still staring into those eyes in the bathroom mirror whisper this short sentence, “I will never fire. You are my strength when I’m tired. You are the air in the balloons that lift me over tall, tall mountains. You are me and if you don’t mind…I’m going to start calling you my best friend.” Labor Day Weekend was designed to honor the hard working backbone of a nation so powerful others had but one choice to follow. You are in the business of you…if there’s one lesson to learn, don’t treat yourself like today’s modern day boss. Always take care of the people that make your business succeed. Take care of you.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Lost Art Of Pam Stone

Maya Angelou was blessed with more than willingness but the courage of being on display. She's held true to understanding the relationship required when taking the risk of placing a writing instrument on paper then releasing it to world for all to judge. Maya believes, "People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. People will never forget how you made them feel." Such a thought might fly completely over your head. It's the Twitter Generation where we Face Book more than we shop. The sound of the human voice is clutter. Passion is too much drama! People will never forget how you made them feel. How long does it take assumption to ignite anger? Is it even a full second? Lynn Payne was powerful in her loyalty of keeping her Barnes and Noble location in South Charlotte filled with stories about Native Americans. "The elders are passing too quickly," she'd nervously share, "Those next in line aren't moved to listen. If there's no continuation of communication the only thing the future will have are books that have been digitally tossed into square boxes we easily lose." I was moved by her storytelling! But I often wonder how I would've reacted if she had sent me an email instead. My closest friends have tried the route of long form sharing only to learn if the first sentence doesn't get my attention I instantly delete the pouring out of their heart. I'm extremely lazy in the department of digitally digesting and call out to those friends with great fear because of all imaginations...mine is going to create a completely different understanding of what you're truly trying to say. I can't get a coworker to understand how valuable learning how to do proper commercial production is when corporate decision makers fire you during Presidential Inaugurations. I think I see my wife more through reading her text messages than I do at dinner. The importance of storytelling can't find its way into becoming a lost art. People will never forget how you made them feel. If what's been sent feeds assumption where then does reality sit when having to deal with the aftermath of miscommunication? Gary Lewis and G Riley Mills released a book called: The Pin Drop Principal. Brightly lit by the color yellow featuring burnt orange lettering but no pictures; talk about judging a book by its cover! Even worse, the physical presence of a book in my hands and not on a Kindle completely disconnects me from growing forward. Shhhh don't tell anybody! They'll think I've taken ten steps back! They write, "When one person shares a story another listens. A priceless bond is made. Activated are regions of your brain that no other form of communication is capable of syncing with." This is why I spend so much time studying the roots and current tree leaves of Hip Hop. I believe it's the final page of community driven storytelling. The artists fear nothing in the department of exposing what life is really like behind what newspapers and late night news expose. The majority of us do not understand the challenges faced not daily but hourly. We're consumed by the depths of our own footprints in sands that have become stone. Therefore no mark is left for followers to find. Comedian's are storytellers. You don't laugh because the person is funny. You react because you relate. Politicians are clowns. I don't see their supporters laughing out loud. Pam Stone's book I Love My Turkey Butt Samwhich displays the perfect pattern of having eye to eye contact with readers. Her writing style carries an accent. You feel her emotions without having to watch her hands. You see her questioning without generating a reason to tune out. Her writing gifts her with the ability to create the time and space to pull you closer while never injuring your imagination. Have you ever gone back and reread a word dumping on Face Book or Twitter and thought, "That was pretty "F-ing" stupid. I didn't read what the sender was sharing and poof I completely crashed on offering support." We're getting married to the process of writing words without first getting engaged. How many chapters in a relationship are required before a man bends at the knee and says, "Can I text you?" Intern Rob whose now gainfully employed but like a true father your children never grow up...he wastes no time in explaining my writing style, "You're cryptic! Until someone gets to know you nobody truly understands what you're saying on computer screens and smart phones." Do you know where I learned this art? In the 1980's and early 90's I used word formation to heighten what suffering from depression lessoned. I found inner peace using written words rather than seeking spoken story. I had become such an actor that even today barely a soul not even myself...knows who I really am. I use words to build walls only to realize people will never forget how you made them feel. You know what's really weird? I know a lot of people that depend on written words to lift their life. Where then is the crime? I will always believe in you first...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Piss Off Your Hater's With Quality Control

Author Steven Furtick shares an interesting concept about something I've always called "The Invisible Gorilla Of Every Day Living: The saddest part about life are the stories about you that never make it to your ears. Show me someone that isn't stuck on the idea that ALL things spoken behind their back isn't hateful and or untrusting and meant to injure without coming out and saying it. It makes weak people feel empowered to blast out and against someone that might rightfully turn their stomach. What we don't realize is that verbal abuse is no different than a terrorist act on Middle Eastern streets. Murdered are the reasons to further a coworker's willingness to believe. Why should they invest time and energy in a person when rumor has it? That's not what this is about! The saddest part about life are the stories about you that never make it to your ears. Hardly anybody shares the good news spoken in circles of closed door secrecy. I can talk about this next story because it's been openly shared with the person spoken about. Emailing systems suck! It's too easy to tap into the face of a computer then hit send without thinking of damage control. The email explained the importance of using a priceless tool for teams to utilize when building relationships. Attached to the digital message were exceptional reasons for using the valuable tool immediately followed by dollar amounts already raised. I've stood strong in supporting the reasons behind the use of such a tool but fair is fair. I requested the numbers associated with my name and creativity. And to this moment I have heard and seen nothing. We all know what my "real" name is I just can't figure out why nobody at home uses it: Here! I need this now! Just got back from a very important meeting. This project is worth. I know you're busy but. The saddest part about life are the stories about you that never make it to your ears. I already know of the jerk stories! I've already been pulled into meetings dealing with how to stop sending my poetic expressions through emails because as empowering as this truly is...someone is still going to find reason to call me an ass. What I never get to hear is, "Your unique connection with clients does..." This nation continues to fail in the economic sides of success because the "real" workers of small, family owned and operated and corporate structures need a mental boost. A booty call for the ego. Something to look forward to! A reason other than the cost of insurance to allow you to pull from our souls the "real" foundation of success. Guts! Dedication! Loyalty! Determination! Team Spirit...what the "F" is that? Lost in the archives of why your boss still has a job is exactly what author Steven Furtick is talking about: The saddest part about life are the stories about you that never make it to your ears. It sickens me when I see managers standing in corners talking about last night's football game while passion across the counter is being given away by minimum wage employees. I said it, "Given away." The only reason why you're collecting a check is because someone a long time ago put into law a fairness act. There is no fairness in American business in 2012. There is no political candidate running for any office willing to take on the checking accounts supporting their mission to reach a decision makers office. What will happen to America when outsourced job holders decide to press the flesh in a request for more money? Companies haven't been downsized! The ambition set inside your Great Grandfather's soul to put one foot in front of the other no matter how cold or ugly it near its final breath. What are we trained to do? Whatever it takes to keep insurance cards in our pocket while still having to co-pay what little is left to be made. The new American dream shouldn't be, "Thank you God for this job!" It should be, "Thank you God for this family! Friends! The color of Fall in the Carolinas!" The saddest part about life are the stories about you that never make it to your ears. This is not a call to action to impersonate what life used to be. This is the mirrored image of what we all see. Cuz it seems the only people doing the talking are those behind your back. I say give them reasons to hate you because you're brilliant! Give them another excuse to be jealous of your gifts to lead. Give them every opportunity to snub their smug mug at how determined you are at staying true to quality and not quantity. America is not Wal-Mart! We are the worlds specialty store! You come here when your life requires something extraordinary. We used to laugh at Chinese made products. The nations of the planet see our name and the grin is the same. The saddest part about life are the stories about you that never make it to your ears. I will always believe in you first. It'll piss off your circles of haters but always know you have a friend.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

People Stealing From Your Efforts Has Value In Your Success

Loosing and finding passion... In the giant race toward the painted horizon the destination of multiple dreams look more like personalized version of Reality TV rather than plain ole life just happening. Along the way someone shouted, "Ask and you shall receive! Give and the Great Creator gives back!" Like well programmed machines we set up invisible shops featuring larger than a bread box rocking chairs patiently waiting for the "Arrival!" I asked! Shouldn't I be gettin? Are we there yet? How about now? I'd love to the see the research numbers on how many people reach the crossing point of life becoming death and they're angrier than a Red Tail Hawk being chased by four huge black crows. They didn't what they wanted. Author Lou Solomon describes "Courage" as, "You do not get power from your listeners without first giving them yours. Once you step forward in courage and offer them transparency, they'll return in kind, but not before." To give away one's power is like handing out your the "Banking On Line" password on Face Book. Although many base their foundational strength on the thickness of their checking account; you'd never give away the numbers that would allow others to taketh away! "You do not get power from your listeners without first giving them yours." And we thought "Courage" was based on how many guts you had left before hopping on a mile long Zip Line that skates over a body of water then quickly toward tree trunks they promised would never be hit. But do you truly believe? We must! Look how many great people play the Power Ball Lottery! There's a one in a billionth chance financial success is about to swat your tail sending you into a level of life very few can truly handle. Solomon continues his tale on "Courage", "Your listeners will begin to conspire with you to produce a great moment in communication, to create new meaning, when you offer your humanity." How many times have you given someone an hour of your time only to abuse it? Does that instantly qualify you for the 2012 Courageous Man or Woman of the Year? How many of us understand the sport of humanity? shares the definition: The quality of being humane. Which is a great way to say, "Stop being fake." Have the "Courage" to believe in yourself while giving true self a reason to grow. You can't grow forward without having support! If your personal path was meant to be achieved alone Michael Jordon would have already won the NBA championship with his Charlotte Bobcats. But no! Without shame, silence or doubt, he's shaping the efforts of his endeavor by showcasing true business "Courage!" He refuses to stop believing and isn't afraid to share his art of leadership with basketball fans, players and coaches on what's required for there to be success. "You do not get power from your listeners without first giving them yours." The drive to hoop has never been about being an overnight success. It demands more than perfectly built legs and a keen vision to rip through extremely tall lines of long arms and sticky stinking sweat. Giving away to others shouldn't be based on dollars dropped in the offering plate or how much time you've donated to nonprofit organizations or staying long after the normal eight hour day and not putting in for overtime. Lou Solomon explains that people can see your spirit, they begin to trust you. If you're transparent, without airs or need for concealment, people will be the same way with you. I can hear the masses in the upper level seating, "I'm tired of giving! I'm the first to say good morning! I never stop sharing when I meet people who need something. But I have nothing!" But you do... You have "Courage." The courage to be different during a time when selfishness is accepted. You have the courage to lift the bent smile of people you barely know toward a brilliantly better day at work. Your ability to never hide your courage has opened your life to a reason why so many trust your decision making. Being with courage may not look like an Olympic sized Christmas morning but in the end do you truly have enough room in your life for all the gifts you think you deserve? "You do not get power from your listeners without first giving them yours." I'm no different than you! I hurt in the worst ways when sales reps press my passion to create so hard that being me means nothing. Only to realize...when I get home and my dogs are jumping all over my lap like wild giving to them comes with incredible rewards. A woman sends me an email the other day, "Please read the short paragraphs I've written. Because of your efforts to share everyday through blogging. My silence as a writer is now over." I will always believe in you first...

Monday, August 27, 2012

To Be An Artist Is The Long Lost Art

Do you believe in associated purpose or is everything connected by invisible lines of undetermined destination? Fate versus Cause and Effect...right? An unexpected swift turn at a sun beaten South Carolina traffic light put me in a parking lot overshadowed by a Michael's Art Store. Believer's would say "Fate" put me on an unknowing "Artist's" palate. Cause leading to effect paints the shape of an unsuspecting "Artist" teacher sitting in front of a canvas while inside Michaels. The "Cause" was created by the stores invitation to reach out to creative minds. The "Effect" evolved into "Artist's" knowing only what "Artist's" feel. Therefore through understanding all levels of "Art" everything challenged and or injured in the process of being an "Artist" is safely delivered like that of a religious minister. Each time I use the word "Artist" think not of what an "Artist" is but rather what being an "Artist" is. It's a relationship between a creative soul inside the body chosen to create expression. Often times I've called "Art" a legal addiction. Your body creates endorphins. Interestingly enough, science has proven it's the same endorphins used while having sex. The rush makes you high. You want more. You'll sacrifice your job and family time to feed an addiction to being creative. Drug abusers, alcoholics, shop-a-holics, gamblers all speak of the day after. When you create it's extremely easy to get weighed down with an "Artist" hangover. Let's back up! An "Artist" isn't just a painter, cupcake maker, musician or a really weird fashion driven pick of the crowd. Car salespeople are brilliant in the "Art" of conversation. Banker's, Doctors and Morning Managers at McDonalds share the "Art" of why one should invest in preparedness. "Art" is all around us! We don't recognize it because of a personal need to expose "Passion." "Wow! Johnny's got passion! This company would be in the toilet if it wasn't for Reid's ambition to passionately set things aside. You can smell Chef Mike's passion in that plate of authentic spaghetti." Stop! Stop! Stop! I can't use the word "Passion" any more. Within the depths of the first pages of The Artist's Way Julia Cameron finds the strength to expose how society continues to treat people with passion. Artist's! People are horrified of calling themselves an "Artist." The fine folks at Michael's Art Store must have gotten the message because their "Cause" is leading to an "Effect." Fate may invite creative minds into the same circle. But what is "Fate?" Fate has been associated with too many colors. I hear couples explain to me how fate brought them together. Radio DJ's never stop talking about how fate put them in anywhere America because it eventually led to this single moment in time. The most horrid economic conditions of our time continue does that mean fate is connecting us to unwritten chapters of victory? In Native American Spirituality we're taught: Fate happens when you don't put energy in everything available to make a difference. Fate should be labeled the new "F" word! Third grade students should be racing to their principals screaming, "Jamie just said a cuss word! She said fate." The "Cause" is overzealous bosses who've chosen to stop believing in the "Art" of their employees. The "Effect" is why your bank account sucks. Big Business, grocery stores and tennis shoe makers continue to raise their prices. Insurance companies, hospitals and veterinarians have no interest in how much you love a pet. Money is money and everybody needs it no matter how unfaithful you've been to fate. Julia Cameron doesn't fade when having to explain the average person is horrified of admitting they have passion to create knowing that "Artists" are usually in the GLEE club. That's like walking up to an African American man and saying, "What do you mean Dave Matthews is your favorite artist of all time?" Being creative is the expression that not only hurts when it's been invaded or someone has stolen. It costs money to feed it. And very rarely except on occasion do you rub shoulders with someone that speaks the language of what it's like when a tube of acrylic paint has dried just enough to add clumps of junk onto what's supposed to be a sunrise chasing the horizon's midnight. Even if you don't put paint on a blizzard white canvas...always take the time to visit an "Artist" who has gained the required confidence to publically expose what a lot of people have chosen to hide in their closets, garages, unused bedrooms and attics: it's the ability to believe in yourself then sharing what you see with a world that was born to enjoy your art.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Believe featuring Rev Billy Graham

Carol Wiggens recently shared one of the most brilliant quotes to live by, "Please keep in mind that I am not a singer and do not claim to be. However, the Lord gave these songs to me because He wanted someone to hear the words, not my voice!" Believe was written by the poet with pen whose journey has always been with God but he's never had anyone to walk with him. Thanks to Elevation Church and Pastor Steve in Charlotte, NC the sense of being alone is gone. To be on campus with my wife Lee far exceeds everything I've done in 33 years of radio broadcast.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

This Is Still My Great Grandfather's United States Of America

How often do you come across an ancient as dirt quote and realize the author had shattered the rules of time entering the space of modern reality? Mark Twain wasn't just a brilliant writer but the owner of a solid leadership strong enough to stand never on the correction of his word shapes but to paint for a later date conversations based on an act of accepted behavior. With both the Republican and Democratic Conventions of 2012 minutes from our unknowing touch; the empowerment of Saint Charan Singh reaches between the digital sheets of paper provided by Windows Word 2007 and heralds a firm but genuine commitment, "You are responsible for yourself. You are not responsible for the world." If this was Face Book or Twitter the normal technique of release would be to hit a reader between the eyes allowing assumption be the followers guide. I would disappear and you would be stuck holding brain junk. Not to have, to hold, til death do us part. We've developed no need to succeed as leaders and if you do have a voice both internet outlets are blessed with the depressed. The Great Depression of 2012 isn't the economy but it's our mental state of being. "You are responsible for yourself. You are not responsible for the world." Pope John Paul strengthens the statement, "Man's truest obligation is to keep his balance." Balance is the first thing you learn as a Martial Artist. In some schools harnessing control of a proper front stance is but the only path to follow. Very few realize such the vision of a man and or woman with their leg shot out in front of them bent at the knee to hide the toes with the opposite leg being completely straight and behind them is the act of making a firm foundation. A method not invented by man but developed by the cow. How does one steal from the balance found on a matted floor and place it firmly into a life that's been challenged, changed, choreographed and completely out of tune with the humans need to be accepted? The Chinese Proverb firmly states, "The gem cannot be polished without friction." Albert Einstein taught, "Try not to become a man or woman of success but rather to become a man or woman of value." My wife reminded me this morning of the distances traveled on a journey called Arroe, "People disconnect when they stop to realize you aren't sixteen going on twenty five but fifty. Being a 33 year veteran of the Broadcast industry makes you invaluable inside a business consumed by too many chiefs and not enough true leaders. For you to be part of a plan makes them think you're interests are to replace them rather than see you for who you are and that's somebody that's been overtaken by a passion not for what you've accomplished but what you teach...the art of belief." Outside of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Brian Williams on NBC, the extremely vocal man of the cloth and every one sided newspaper outlet fed funds to represent the best interests of their community; who's teaching you how to overcome the second worst economic crisis in American history? Who's teaching families to better prepare for harder times knowing if Romney did win the natural progression of change takes years of preparation and execution? "You are responsible for yourself. You are not responsible for the world." Show me the politician that 18th Century French Philosopher Charles de Montesquieu talks of when saying, "To become truly great, one has to stand with the people, not above them." If Billy Graham hadn't been chosen by a higher decision maker to lead decades of believers to their promised land; would he have become this nation's Greatest leader? Notice I said, "Promised land." For this country to become strong we need you. For this nation to lead less money has to be spent on the unwilling. No President can fix America. The people have to stand united to un-break the states. We've stopped being responsible for ourselves and allowed others to take care of our personal worlds. Then complain when those now in charge want something back. The soils that make up the fifty most incredible states on the face of this planet were "Promised" to us by family members, friends, coworkers and people we'll never know. They fought wars on foreign shores. They paid taxes that built as well as mended highways capable of carrying American dreams to newer places to grow. They stood up for what they believed knowing their promised land would be available for generations far beyond their best step forward. As hard as I work every day deep into the weekends... I cannot physically make a promise to my stepdaughters children that America will be here for their children. "You are responsible for yourself. You are not responsible for the world." The Appalachian Mountains of the east coast are looked upon as being ancient, torn up but not silenced by constant winds some reaching 100mph, bitterly cold weather patterns lash out against them before each spring only to be baked by the heat of a summer's day...yet they don't melt. The Appalachians continue to lead. They seek not the aid of other mountain ranges assumed stronger. The Rockies have their own story to share. The Cascades may fade in fog but it's never for long. For purple mountains majesty... Winston Churchill once said, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it's the courage to continue that counts." "You are responsible for yourself. You are not responsible for the world." Too many times I've heard normal people share where they stood the day the Twin Towers came down. The majority of the time their best explanation is, "It felt like I was watching a movie. I had to keep telling myself how real it was." If you don't believe in this quote "You are responsible for yourself. You are not responsible for the world." Is it wrong to ask when will another Hollywood like reality make this nation no more? Ross Perot said, "Most people give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from winning the touchdown." How close are we to defeat?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cutting Into The Fat Of Ordering Food

Stop and think for a moment. You're impatiently waiting for the fast talker to take your fast food order; how often do you change your mind? While shopping in a big city mall do you constantly pick things up then set them down? Are you the type of driver that can't stay in one lane? If there's five white stripes on a freeway you somehow end between them all! Why then do you demand the perfect marriage? Why do you become extremely disgusted with friends that instantly don't buy into your idea? Why do you do what you do when what you do feeds the veins of a blood sucking "Perfectionist"? A "Perfectionist" is NEVER happy. After several attempts leading to multiple hours of trying to make what they create perfect...a "Perfectionist" ends up settling for second or fifteenth best. You aren't going to find the perfect guy. Even if you did...he'd eventually leave unwashed dishes in the sink, his underwear on the floor and hear everything blasting through the air except the words you share. In every small town business or growing corporation sits a boss lucky enough to have been chosen to lead a pack of what he thinks are hard working, deeply dedicated, totally loyal perfect employees. Nice try idiot! If bosses spent more time being the minimum wage employee they'd see how stupid being a "Perfectionist" is. In her book The Artist Way At Work author Julia Cameron teaches the perfect business eye to watch carefully for the one secret ingredient the competition doesn't have: Uniqueness. Just because Tommy doesn't harness the hardcore drive of a sales reps designed to take the word no and destroy it doesn't mean his computer skills can't help you fine tune your Social Media presence. The moment someone pops up the idea of hosting an office meeting I check out. Why don't they call them what they are? I'm just covering my ass. The majority of today's business gatherings are led by bosses that would and could learn a lot more if they'd get to know who's been hired. But they don't. It makes it easy for them to fire. Divorce is no different. Marriage is a business and when things take on the image of a project that's not working out, because it has to be magazine cover perfect! If the section of the vows where the dude up front sorta kinda almost says, "til death do you part" isn't meeting your specifications the coworker's gotta go! I hate producing radio commercials based on hormone replacement! Your sex life will return... Really? Is marriage supposed to be based on booty? How often have you jumped into a performance just to get it over with? Did you whip out the marriage meter to see if you scored higher in a popularity pole? Author Steven Furtic teaches readers to "People watch" their own path. Become aware of how you order salmon. The way it's perfectly laid out in word form on the menu seems incredibly appetizing until your stomach reminds you of how much it can't stand salmon. The order is made, the chef gives it all his love and attention only to see you push what the Pacific Ocean gifted your life with to the side for someone to take away or to be stuffed in a doggie bag for consumption by someone else later. Accepting the first job that comes along is no different. I guess I can work overnights stocking the shelves at Wal-Mart away from family and friends. I mean, weekends aren't that far and few between! I see this trick nearly every week: I'd love to go back to school and learn a different trade. Radio looks like fun! Morning show people are always laughing and happy! They get to meet famous people and how about all that free food from fancy restaurants! Then I walk in and hand out a heartfelt back to reality message. I'm not shy to hold out my left arm. 37 razor blade scars. And you thought in the 1980's and 90's the only thing we cut was reel to reel tape? The digital production age took me out of the cutter business! How do you order fast food? Do you make fun of the order taker? Do you shout it out? How fast do you speak while trying to share the message that which guarantees it to be right or wrong? Do you instantly investigate the bag after its been handed to you? Now you know why your spouse feels insecure because you do the same thing with your relationship. The way you invite food into your life is how you feed the steps that press just enough weight onto the bright green pastures making a path called your life. The recording studio that earned a great deal of money from my very shallow pockets is without a doubt the laziest non caring incredibly selfish two guys I've ever met. Nearly twenty years of friendship is gone due to my lack of watching how Jimm orders Alan to get him food. If I had met the words of Steven Furtic first...the creative marriage with the recording studio would be just as bright as the cover of a grocery store magazine. The best news... I didn't put one cut in my arms. How are you slicing up your life to locate happiness?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Nation Can't Change Until The President's Bored

While chasing a slow paced summer day during what seems like an earlier than normal departing seasonal way...I drew myself inward. Red leaves, frail long grass and cattails exploding spoke out in wisdom, "Its time my human friend to begin the journey of shedding your skin." I shut off the world. Popped the mental clutch out of career driven. Not lost in thought because if you think openly universes demand discovery. I refused to wear children's shoes knowing such a showcasing displays immaturity. Playing radio was what I did late into the nights turned morning at the ripe old age of seven going on sixty three. Being alone invited people to worry. The Black Sheep is what they called me. Until someone took the time to rest in silence with me. Even if they were acting, their reasons for better understanding served as fuel to dig into nothingness a little more and often. Boredom or a reason to believe you are currently suffering from swims within the very waters you'll find other measurements such as fear, lack of confidence, a willingness to break rules and a need to be accepted. To reduce the overbearing strength boredom darkens we invent, redesign, exaggerate, create fights and hoist sails hoping a passing breeze will seize a new island of adventure and fun. The American economy depends on your addictions. If everybody was happy there'd be no reason for Apple to release the Iphone 5. If bosses didn't torment you by squeezing ever last inch of sweat from even lost wouldn't have challenges, goals to be met and eyes that see horizons not yet set. Why do they try to sell People Magazine at Wal-Mart when it serves a better purpose to kill time while standing in line? If more people took the time to view the makings of their society rather than the raking over the coals Hollywood exposed...the destination of your recreation wouldn't be a connection to false hopes and promises. Here's a great example: I wish I had Tom Cruise's looks but at 5' 10'' he along with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Swarchenegger had to sacrifice height to experience universal appeal. The look has power. Decisions have been made by the way they were made. Being short is the sport in Southern California. But not so in politics... President's Obama and Reagan slipped into the White House a half inch over 6' 1''. Mitt Romney, Bill Clinton and George W check in at 6' 2''. If Abraham Lincoln truly is this nation's greatest of all leaders; I can see why, he towered over Congress at 6'4''. Hmmm what might have worked for Mr. Lincoln didn't necessarily pay off for Lyndon B Johnson also 6'4''. How did we go from discussing boredom right into an extremely boring subject? Exactly!!!! Sitting in a radio station control room spinning tunes that gift listeners with an added bounce to their day charges up the batteries of anyone willing to play. The problem is...nobody along the way teaches the speaker talker how to deal with boredom. When was the last time you sat alone in a room playing the same songs over and over for 5 maybe 6 hours six days a week? While syndicated with the Pam Stone Show the players involved all agreed the better performance was always off the air. Especially since Pam wasn't in the same studio with Anthony Michaels and myself! If the eyes are the window to the soul then what becomes the guide when blind? When you reduce commitment life happens. It requires determination. A willingness to stand behind a decision to say, "No!" Human chapters based on over committing dissolves the core of your job. Having brilliant time management doesn't supersede what needs to succeed. Having multiple commitments physically deteriorates your reasons for setting out to accomplish. The idea of reintroducing yourself to nothingness causes a negative reaction. If a masked man suddenly appeared asking for your money you'd fearfully freeze. What's the worst you do when a micromanaging boss, overzealous neighbor, controlling coworker and endlessly mouthy children rob you blind of your time? A little anger? A pinch of disappointment? A shot of Cotton Candy Vodka? Swiping a few views from Glamour, Vogue and Sports Illustrated? In a couple of years, a decade or five later you're overweight, your armpits stink and so does your desire to grow forward. The worst thing about life is its lack of supporting the creation of a remote control that can instantly melt away the commercials while shooting you back to a beginning you assume can be done better. No... not gonna happen. There are way too many perfectionists in the world without it. Take inventory. Know what you really do not what you assume. Add it all up and see why your body is acting like a three year old in a grocery story that doesn't understand why it can't have a chunk of chocolate. Learn to say, "No..." Locate boredom. There is no race to face. Create a journal filled with you asking yourself questions. Be honest with your answers. Be open with your opinions. Set fire to the desire to want to fight and instantly turn the questions around, "Why do you always ask me about that?" The Interviewer will always reply. But do you have the guts to set free what's really making you extremely unhappy? Get to know yourself before giving yourself to others. I will always believe in you first...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Locating A Solution As To Why You Give Too Much

The early morning television news anchor spoke softly, directly and almost parent-like when sharing the shocking truth; 40% of American's lucky enough to be employed "aren't being given vacations. I didn't say, "Aren't taking a vacation." Nor did I type into the face of this emotionless computer screen, "Are deeply loyal to their jobs that stepping away for a short period of rest is a sacrifice not worth investing in." This is where the average Blogger would begin a process of sharply blasting, harshly ridiculing and unveiling the names of Companies, their Owners, CEO's, Department Heads and the "Employee" for making a decision that physically without a doubt "lowers the bar" in America. This used to be me! Until the heart stopped. The cardiovascular surgeon blazed a new trail of self examination, "Your body has sent you a valuable message! It doesn't matter how fast your mind works jacked up on power drinks, caffeine and ephedrine; the mind doesn't control the major players. If it's your decision to ignore stress and everything associated with it...I'm looking forward to you financing my vacations for the next 5 years...if you're lucky!" "Vacations feed my fears of failure." How many times have you heard that from family members or people you work with? I'm in radio! Vacations are open doors for termination. If my Mother is correct, this side of the white picket fence is no different than the real world. So in essence: fear of taking a vacation is normal. Let's break it down! Fear of failure is what? Fear of not being accepted... Fear of not being part of something. Burned into my skin by the hot irons of guilt tripping are the stern warnings of one a radio station general manager, "I need to know right now if you're a Broadcaster or a Disc Jockey. If you believe in making a difference for the industry during a time when this radio station can't afford to give time have a job. If your decision is to lean the other way; this is your final day." Forced fear cannot be compared to a fear of not being accepted or being part of something. But because it's easily accessible for reasons why we do something, the end result evolves into new emotions: Loyalty, dedication and determination. To call it what it is puts your job on the line. Bullying... Leadership through intimidation has become the accepted process of business in America. If you can't handle the heat in the kitchen then get out. Political leaders spend hours barking about other nations that are unfit and unfair but are blinded by the millions of dollars shoved into election pockets and packets. While employees lower their bars of what is and isn't success, the company reported to every day has leaped the opposite direction setting their expectations so high that inhumane choices are made; you're either fired or you die proving the height of your worth. There isn't enough fuel to feed the gas lines of sacrifice in the center of the human mind body and soul that constitutes enough space to catch your breath. Lets break it down even more: Master Harris from Martial Arts University writes: Loyalty can be defined as "faithfulness or devotion to some person, cause or nation. Loyalty is a choice you make; it comes from within...Loyalty is about relationships, commitment and trust, and cannot depend on situations or feelings. If you're only a friend to someone when you feel like it, than you are not really a friend. Being loyal means you stand BY others and stand WITH others, when they need it most. It is not conditional, it is not situational. It is a choice and an attitude. When put on display that way why is only 40% and not 99.9% of this country "not" taking a vacation? Now I feel guilty about protecting modern Broadcaster's from the horrors of being a microphone talker. Instead, I should feel proud of destroying a marriage and learning the fine art of arm cutting in the early 1990's during the chapters of "Receivership Radio." Dedicating 80 hours a week while getting paid for 29 was the new pre-2008 Recession America. Wow...too negative! I need some meditation time! In the book The Art of Power, it's explained that people who complain about vacations are physically injuring themselves. A book of spirituality blatantly states: vacations are a time of rest. The problem is...when vacations are taken nobody rests. We run! We play! We train our bodies to never shut down! Only to find reason to set fire to our dreams when the boss asks for a little more help. Maybe the tough times in America aren't the fault of Big Business but a reconstructed employee mindset. Being loyal, dedicated and determined is instantly disqualified when the act of how you choose to live is based on feeding the endorphins your body has become addicted to. If you aren't in the car, in the mall or chasing down the big purpose of why you were given air to hold...the thought of taking a true vacation to do nothing spells out "boring." You've got to make a choice! Having a job with a biweekly paycheck and good, bad or ugly insurance provided by a business man who just happened to put faith in a vision isn't your's your enabler. What's the difference between purchasing illegal drugs and taking your paycheck to run off to Alaska, the Olympics in London or get slap happy over a 7/11 Super Gulp? Only to complain about your job every Monday thru Friday from 7am to 6pm. 40% of this working country has made the decision to not take a vacation. I get it! Most of us are struggling so bad that holding down four completely different part time jobs still isn't feeding our needs. Can I ask a personal question? What part of your mind body and soul is so empty that you've made the decision to sacrifice everything? Hunger in America. It's not for food, success or legacy. The hunger is an addiction to excitement and you won't stop until its fed. I will always believe in you first...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Southern Accents Make Not Break Success

During the average human, dog or birds of a feather lifetime, weathermen and women of all shapes and sizes summertime memorize... They keep using the same lines! Rarely do we escape June, July and August, a blazing hot, too sticky to touch, sweat dripping from the edge of every nose day melt like butter moment without a green screen and power pointer exclaiming, "It's so hot outside you can fry and egg on the sidewalk!" I'm no scientist but I do have Google, Yahoo and Bing... The required temperature to fry an egg is 158 degrees. Concrete, as boil bursting as it seems only reaches 145 degrees. You can cheat by putting dark objects or something silvery to sun collect. But reality is bigger than a dogs bite. There'll be no scrambled eggs for lunch, brunch or 3pm snack. Therefore I stand before the world begging the makers of overused catchy phrases to officially change the weatherman's primetime vocal crutch to, "It's so hot outside inch worm jerky is fresh, hot and ready to serve!" As much as you want to say BBQ is the flavor of the American South; one has to remember that it's not the tomato based sauce or the tanginess of vinegar that turns us into pulled or on the bone meat monsters...I believe true taste originality has to be soaked in a southern accent. Spending the weekend sitting around a campfire tossing out conversation blessed with Southernisms is but the sweet found in candy and ain't nobody gonna charge you 50 cents for that! As easy as sliding off a greasy log backward. (very easy) Be like the old lady who fell out of the wagon. (you aren't involved, so stay out of it) Busy as a stump-tailed cow in fly time. (very busy) Don't let the tail wag the dog. (the chief is in charge, not the Indians) Either fish or cut bait. (work or make way for those who will) Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then. (everyone is sometimes lucky) Give down the country. (give someone a piece of your mind) Go whole hog. (go for it all) Gone back on your raisin. (deny heritage) Happy as a dead pig in the sunshine. (doesn't grasp or worry what's going on) In high cotton. (rising up in society) Scarce as hen's teeth. (no such thing) Although I'm climbing swiftly toward my 28th of fifty breathing years held up in the sharp highway curves and smooth rolling hills that snuggle up to a Carolina mountain side; no heart goes unblessed by the way a Southerner dresses their speaking voice. AIM TO- plan to do BITTY BIT- a small amount FALLING OUT- disagreement FIXING TO- about to HEY- hello LAID UP- ill, hurt, unable to work MESS-one who carries on, "He's a mess." PIDDLE- waste time, doing nothing RECKON- think or supose so. YA'LL or Y'ALL (can be spelled both ways)- you all, two or more people And yet... I find just as much enjoyment watching steadfast overly determined men and women of weather reporting to be just as colorful. SKY • Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. SUN • Haloes around the sun or moon indicate a rain or snow real soon. • A reddish sun has water in his eye; before long you won't be dry. • When the sun sets bright and clear, an easterly wind you need not fear. • Evening red and morning gray, a good sign for a fair day. • If the sun in red should set, the next day surely will be wet; if the sun should set in gray, the next will be a fair day. MOON • Pale moon rains, red moon blows; white moon neither rains nor blows. • The moon her face be red, of water she speaks. • When the moon raises red and appears large, with clouds, expect rain in twelve hours. • When the moon is darkest near the horizon, expect rain. • Clear moon, frost soon. CLOUDS • High clouds indicate fine weather will prevail; lower clouds mean rain. • When clouds look like rocks and towers, the Earth will be refreshed by showers. • Clouds on the setting sun's brow indicate rain. • If cumulus clouds are smaller at sunset than at noon, expect fair weather. • When cumulus clouds become heaped in leeward during a strong wind at sunset, thunder may be expected during the night. • Cumulus clouds in a clear blue sky, it will likely rain. • Mares' tails and mackerel scales make tall ships take in their sails. PRECIPITATION • A sunny shower won't last an hour. WIND • A wind from the south has rain in its mouth. • If cirrus clouds form in weather with a falling barometer, it is almost sure to rain. BIRDS • If the goose honks high, fair weather; if the goose honks low, foul weather. • Birds flying low, expect rain and a blow. • If the lark flies high, expect fair weather. • If the rooster crows on going to bed, you may rise with a watery head. • If the raven crows, expect rain. • When geese cackle, it will rain. And now you know why I write every day without putting worry in what's been left on a page. This is my accent. No editing or spell check required. There's too much nitpicking and not enough writing. Every CBS, Cumulus, Greater Media and Clear Channel Radio station sound the same. Growing up in Montana we picked up on Canadian bands with an Irish tone. Anywhere else The Rovers, Chiliwack and April Wine mean nothing. Which means there'll never be true Southern Rock driven by hard time sun stained Blues again. Kind of like Coke and Pepsi. They're the most famous kids born and raised in the South going all out Hollywood and Mars Rover. The mere mention of Cheerwine and Sundrop causes nothing more than tune out. The moral of this story: Get back to the basics. Momma didn't raise a follower. The next time someone tells you success starts when you drop the southern accent... go ahead and ask John Boy and Billy about how it's workin out for them. Samuel Clemons Sunday dressed in a mid-western suit and tie would steal from the sets the sun designs just after dinner time. Be you and don't let anybody try to edit what makes you the greatest person you'll ever meet.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Conversation With The Devil: The Book

Conversation with the Devil… An addiction to hard work, dedication and the pursuit of radio dreams Have you ever stared at yourself long enough in the mirror to notice whose looking back? I hear a tremendously loud stadium of 82,000 who scored free tickets to a show I may not be able to live up to,” the radio voice tried to explain, “Each pair of eyes is another personality…today I’ll become one of them, tomorrow another, then another…for no reason other than challenging every opportunity in the name of breathing.” This is why I’ve asked to meet up with the faceless figure of radio theory, outlying convictions, self cultured control adjacent to new age hallucinations. Such unguarded behavior has caught fire on the hillsides of impossibility leaning hard on the avenues of inspiration. Connected to the rhythms to which I write, it’s all I need to survive…a newly fashioned angel of the mind shaped by the professors governing the school of hard knocks. “I vowed to never stop learning,” my latest visitation quickly jumps in. “I’m constantly confronted by individuals who spend an entire life asking questions. I walk away wondering if they’ve asked the right questions?” I am The Interviewer—a nickname picked up during a journey of many miles with un-perfected greats that assumed they were smarter, brighter and more creative with uneducated answers. It’s not my quest to lay them to rest but rather to sit and listen. I get what I want by asking the right questions at the most inappropriate time. Once knocked off balance, right into my written eternity they land. A lovely place, finely tuned by the wicked, timid and overgrown, the conceited, overheated, tossed out and thrown. Their impossibilities harness a squabble long enough to hobble toward hardcover or paperback infamy. You hold their answers and my private one-on-one interpretations to which they never see. They are my handwritten observations spoken of reality as witnessed by someone who deals with it every day. Most interviews feel as if they take ten to twenty years. Please stay completely away from quickly saying, “Yes…” My questions are carefully planned requiring self contained tidbits of personality driven attitude, be it blaringly out loud or caught in a corner for safe keeping, shat you deliver to me can make or break the best page in the book. I hand pick the people I follow staring first with an e-mail, “Hey I’m writing a book called Conversation with the Devil…do you mind if I stop in for a visit?” “Wow!” Today’s interview instantly engraved on the webpage, “You do realize I’m not a follower?” Wasting no time to reply I swiftly began to gnaw on his presence, “In some way we all know him.” “Ok! Sure! I have about fifty three minutes.” Today’s chosen visitation wants fifty three minutes. Not sixty or thirty nor a week to think about it. Fifty three…seems out of the ordinary until you pull back the lenses linked to life’s everyday shapes and sizes captured by the truths that lay within the eye of a camera. Some crave and or die trying to become number one. In numerology the number two connects you to the power of the wolf. Met a few three’s and fours, but nothing like this before. Fifty three…it’s the current age, today May 3rd...five/three. His mother passed away exactly fifty three weeks after soberly sobbing over the tragic death of her partner. As immature as can be is the sister born fifty three months to the day after his unexpected early arrival one very warm spring day. Might it have something to do with an odd collection of dirt stained sports jerseys he continues to keep? In Jr. and Sr. high school he wore number fifty three. Little League baseball was a different story, for three homerun-less seasons, fans in the stands saw the number five but didn’t recognize any change until his next level of play; the Babe Ruth League scored him the number three. I wanted more but he wouldn’t let me extend my writing instrument beyond the front door when I half heartedly demanded a full hour. Whatever! So, I agreed to an extremely short time span to spend time with the captain of a restless ship whose maiden voyage has never ended. He is hard headed enough to declare his hands the maker of his path; he who sees through a mountain while carving delicately into its surface bringing no harm to all things that come to us naturally. He really likes himself doesn’t he? I love this sort of energy. The Interviewer’s rules are simple, blunt, to the point and playful if need be. The end result being nothing more than a hiccup, a skip on a vinyl record or a face torn from the pages we keep. Our dialogue is to take place “only” in a brightly lit community of windows described as nothing more than a cluttered radio station production room. It is his sanctity, his shrine, blessed by hope while being drowned in oceans of fear… Nearly fifteen years ago he playfully dubbed his domain the Womb, because all things given birth must begin in a place of warmth. Bringing the experience to life is a long slender silver microphone whose umbilical chord is coupled to an On-Air light outside his living quarters. It gifts the path maker a single breath of silence so that he’s capable of hearing a whisper of wind. If he doesn’t become part of the room…there’s no reason to believe he gained access to affecting another human’s life. Feet without shoes or socks, hair uncombed, an early Saturday morning recording resembles a homeless man’s horizontal destination…clothing too big for his aging body, added eyeglass support to enhance a message needing to be shared, fingernails unevenly cut yet his teeth are perfectly flossed while his nose hair looks as if they’ve been pulled rather than trimmed. His intention is the horizon. Getting there isn’t a begging but rather the selling of the soul…a mile on this path and most would drop from exhaustion, lack of vision and/or personal needs for food, water and more air to breathe. He laughs while I write this description as if to say, “You have no idea…” An over confidence is assumed during our meeting…though what has been written on web pages and trophies is quickly hidden when received. He finds no reason to believe in higher places of travel, suggesting it tears him away from the streets to which he speaks. Captivated is the imagination only to locate no real reason to keep a passerby from entering a shapeless world honed by multitudes of personal challenge with no net to catch or carry the changes that seem to slip from his dreams of many. Walking into the radio station production room reminds me of an old black and white war movie that takes place onboard an aircraft carrier. One naturally thinks of the twin engines that lifted this country to victory but it required the guts of this vessel to keep a general’s visual aspirations alive. Radio is no different; every piece that turns a single thought or commercial into reality is masterfully pasted together by a doctor’s tool hidden away in a tiny room. It is here I see a smile. His hand completely trained to reach out to shake a solid welcome into place. Eyes nearly as bright as the beginning of discovery, the view of a potential ego rests…for my judgment of keeper of creativity resides in a wait-and-see approach to what he calls, “Living…” Without hesitation he shoves a flat 16x20 scribbled on canvas toward my collection of books to be written in. “We can’t start until you doodle for me,” he orders with conviction, “I love to watch people think. This is a great way for your thoughts to reach people you’ll never meet.” I instantly fell in love with the way this middle aged man thinks. It’s as if he’s realized early that none of this journey truly has anything to do with him. It’s only an early assumption, but I’d say his personal studies away from radio’s meandering ship has created a solid foundation worth poking my writing instrument into. Resting what looks to me as being an extremely tired face into the palm of his heavily scarred hands, I grow almost impatient wanting to know how each mark made its way into his story. Through his silence and my wavering hand on a canvas completely blotched up by other peoples assumed straight lines and bent circles, the Interviewer within becomes nervous at the idea of someone watching me rather than me studying them. There’s a reason for this madness to which I’m sure I’ll learn…it’s quite obvious he’ll tell the tale because there are five other completely covered canvas’s this size on the wall before me. Not judging, but I feel as if I’m visiting a flea market gallery. Each delivered piece was inspired by untrained decisions to mix ink fully capable of destroying a great looking dress shirt while it runs loosely between fingerprints and canvas. Hundreds have doodled before me…cheaply done but meaningful only to the artist at hand. I am so not a fan. I do have a tremendous interest in the keeper though. I’ve studied catalogs of photos before gaining access to a world he keeps open to broadcasting students and or anyone who wants to steal his art. Something unique will occur this day. Not so new is his typical sleepless fifty two hours before my arrival, but rarely has he entered a state of confusion that I’ll bring to his well hidden marked trail. “I’m an actor,” He says as if to be bragging, “Probably the best you’ll ever meet.” “Blah blah blah,” I think. Over confidence has outlived many famous kings. If he was so great…why has the decision to stay been his purpose of belief? If this creator of sorts was looked upon as being heavenly delicious to the world of business, his feet would sleep in far away places such as New York or Hollywood. No need to ask…it seems typical to present such lame excuses to dig into a rooting system of me, me and me. In fact…I’ll silently nickname his freakish ways and “me” means “Iaam”—It’s All About Me. He seems too light to be Goth, yet dark enough in thought to be Emo. I’ll refer to him as… Iaam. Look at him! Shoulder length multi-colored hair lined with blonde, red, black and brown, it screams “Me!”. It resembles a constant evolution, so I’ll use it to better the chances of locating what many have attempted but have never pulled from the unwritten journey of Me. I’m not here for fake smiles, enlightened expressions or power drink fortified ambitions. The master plan is to score a long awaited confession. Interviewer: You didn’t seem to blink when I mentioned the title of my book: Conversation with the Devil. It doesn’t seem to fit the spiritual trail you keep sketching…people will judge your appearance inside my pages like the cover of an extremely bad book.. Iaam: People do it every day. Seriously, I can paint the most oddly shaped abstract and without a doubt, a self proclaimed expert will walk into my everyday expressing how I felt during its creation. I catch tremendous flack from the colors I choose, to the shape of an eye; to the curved remnants of what they assume is a woman’s breast. I shared this conversation with a newly discovered, nationally recognized artist six months ago. “What do you do when someone sees a blue elephant holding a heart shaped balloon and you being the artist know for a fact its two hundred miles from the truth?” He laughed at me, looked around the room then back at his painting on the mall store gallery wall and confidently said, “Blue elephants holding heart shaped balloons will bring tremendous happiness to your living room.” Although you’d never recognize it from a distant place of sitting, Iaam’s infamous smile takes on a different appeal when this close to touching it…something from a craft fair, made of plaster or ceramic, an upside down smirk nearly covered with every reason to believe he’s been to far away places of self discovery and refuses to go back. Half witted stubble, barely a fist full of hair covers his baby face—an obvious portrayal of an artist’s view of rough times. It acts like a signature, forever sleeping on the edge of a canvas sending out whispers that remind him to never lose sight of the personal drive to locate samples of happiness while learning to share happy and hopefully inspire more people to become happy. From where I sit, I feel what the rest must run from…unrest in the way of wondering what this man is truly riding. Is he doing Meth? What painkillers from the medicine cabinet have become his upper? Iaam doesn’t come across as a dilly dallier of pot and much too far from being a mellow mushroom. Interviewer: No drugs…yet when you study your presentation, the long strands of hair, a relationship with mother nature, a gallery filled with art and the passion required to go with it plus long stemmed roses that connect you to worldly music…I’d instantly label you a stoner or someone addicted to mastering newer ways to disconnect from reality and fall within the means of escape. Iaam: Laughing! No day passes that I don’t fall witness to the endeavors of a poet. I’m no different than anyone else, I love feeling great! Except my highs aren’t accessed by a pill, fermented liquid or carefully rolled cigarettes. That’s not to say I’ve never been two steps shy of caressing the parallel lines placed upon these methods of being out of control. Fear of the opposite end keeps me straight. I’ve made it this far without them, what are the chances I’m going to get another fifty three years to shatter the record? Being excessively creative is my drug. Like any addiction your family is sacrificed. The idea of getting up before the sun then working late into the night feeds an assumed constantly empty ambition. The right amount of adrenaline projects the mind away from all things considered normal which allows me to believe I will absolutely leave this world being anything but a loser.” Interviewer: If a monkey had six eyes and a toad could croak like Frank Sinatra how would your view of the world change? Iaam: Heavy laughter…I’d be more jealous than yesterday. Can you imagine having six eyes of insight? The wisdom of it all would have nothing to do with what’s real or fantasy but rather the challenge of seeing an event before a psychic catches it. I’d crank up the siren and race to the rescue, doing whatever I could to keep someone from dumping money into the pockets of “let’s pretend”. Then to have toads harmonizing? If the Theme to New York New York breaks out…knock on the door and invite me outside to kick up my feet like a Rockette. Until then…I fear a world that changes moods faster than I leap into a batch of hot French fries at 3 AM. Sitting across from him, it’s easy to assume some sort of disorder is present. His breathing resembles the wind kissing a camouflaged caves edge, every rock, shred of algae or anything living on the inside wants its fair share of something assumed missing. Grasping onto his lengthening hair like a comb sent by a king to rescue a village from filth, his hands stop as he catches me taking note of his breathing. Iaam: You think I’m sick don’t you? I breathe this way because martial artists keep a firm handshake strong. I don’t need to be in a war to fill my entire body with required air. Surviving today means breathing the right way. Over two thousand years of study have been handed down to students who willingly learn to use their diaphragms to collect air. Not two overused lungs connected to the diseases your nose brings in. I literally see life being nothing more than constant meditation. It’s you who might be ill because your mind, body and spirit require a lot of oxygen to realize every dream.” Interviewer: Before stopping for a moment to answer these questions, I was shocked to see how often you close your eyes when talking on the microphone. Iaam: I believe in what I see and being with a listener is everything to me. If I catch sight of it in my mind the end result will be a person place or thing they can relate to, being handed a gift blessed with high hopes and a reason to respond. People laugh even when they’re sad. The best way to get inside their life and style is to whip out a little theater of the mind. I never try to be funny…through relationship there is a child- like giggle. Interviewer: You walk about the planet as if you’re constantly upset…yet you promote being positive. Iaam: Being focused and upset are separate flows of traffic. I don’t set out to let life happen…ambition is what puts play into every game: there can’t be a new beginning if the ending isn’t visualized. Maintaining the strength to exceed the limits of personal endeavors requires application; it’s the number one hammer in the tool kit. Interviewer: What would happen to your circle if suddenly you stopped caring? Iaam: You’d be amazed at how often that page is turned and or flipped over to better search for newer areas that might be more accepting of whatever it is I bring. People turn their backs not because of the weight I carry but rather the dire need to push their lives beyond the value of a rule book. Take the color purple…look at how many different shades there are…what if the creator said, “That’s ok, I’ll stop here…this bluish kind of red color will do.” What I do isn’t an act of caring but rather instructing, being the weird guy along side the road shouting, “You can do it!” If the circle were to break, it’s not because of a lack of care but rather a vision or purpose suddenly turned sour. If you close your eyes, the closeness of his well orchestrated voice unwraps the un-glorified destination of each decision made as if it’s been scratched deeply into a pale, nearly faded thick skin of a man of fifty three going on seventy. The stories and experiences don’t reach me in disbelief, but rather in compassion, hell bent on determining why such travels haven’t swiped from the palm a constant requirement. He seems to shove the good, bad and everything in the middle aside in order to paint the portrait of a walker and not a designer. To lead requires too much responsibility while being a follower puts him in places of discouragement invited by others. Sitting directly across from Iaam, quickly noted are his darting eyes, corner to corner, over his shoulder than back to the presence of open conversation. I’m one who feels no urge to expect reaction and or facial expression…it means nothing to me, the way a cat’s meow is held together by an even stronger passion to learn how to best handle the inevitable. Interviewer: You’ve just been ripped away from another on-air radio show…thirty years of this sort of activity and you’re still smiling? Iaam: I didn’t get into the business of single room broadcasting to hustle my way to a larger market without releasing a lot of blood. Nothing lasts long in life and getting used to that idea puts a person far ahead of feeling like a loser.” Interviewer: How far are you from your dreams coming true? Iaam: It’s not going to happen. I can walk away at this very moment knowing this soul has been sold to other people’s lame ideas. It’s not a negative! It means I’ve never had to take credit for their failures. Once you become addicted to another person’s ambitions and long term visions you’ve got to be fully prepared to fail, fail and fail until the day God elects to stop sending air toward your lungs…then it’s time to get back on the boat. Note to self…do not get hooked on the subject of death. It’s obvious such subjects generate fields of wild flowers, I need valleys of desert floors with barely a sip of sand to help cool the wind shaved brutal edges of buried stone. Iaam’s background is bathed in Native American studies. Life is a daily gift and death is a reason to celebrate all that’s been accomplished. Iaam: I can’t stand reading fantasy…if it has nothing to do with ripping down then rebuilding your personal goals and ambitions; it’s a total waste of what little time we have left in a single twenty four hour day. I can’t deal with people who talk about the bad dream they had last night nor can I filter the process of wishes and desires becoming deathly only after five minutes of being set free.” New age beliefs blasting onto the forefront of this conversation need to go. He speaks way too highly of wanting to perform at incredibly high levels without allowing someone to speak for him. What can’t be seen is quickly written off as spirituality. Not my choice of tea. Second note to self…readjust questions without exposing words like death, dreams and laziness. Interviewer: Nearly a thousand coworkers were recently terminated… clearly the act of performance is gone from radio. Iaam: Radio is a relationship between thought and reaction from those who’ve chosen to participate with an ambitious state of constantly feeding a faceless monster locked inside a soul. If you can’t find a microphone on a stage governed by decision makers fighting to survive their own wars, the term living a slow death radiates raw negative energy into everything pumping within the shells shaped by the hands of God. This business is a lethal drug with barely a palm full of wanderers willing to rest wet cloths on the foreheads of the fallen. The picture painted reminds me so much of what my mentor Andrew prepared us for; “if you truly want to make a difference, figure out a way to reach beyond great ratings and hold the hands and hearts of those who gave their life to an industry that promises no tomorrow.” Interviewer: Is the cream rising to the top or are you the captain of a propaganda ship? Iaam: The spirit of being a broadcaster is having the courage to look at a shattered field of wounded and dead, figure out paths of performance that’ll heighten these well trained warriors lost in the depths of fear of locating newer shapes of communication, and helping them rediscover the very energies that shot them toward their first day in radio. Broadcasters are a rare breed because nearly 73% of us have no clue why our heads bobbled up and down when silently asked to accept the task. The other 27% were bored with their restaurant and used car sales positions and walked toward our industry because it seemed easier to manage. The cream isn’t rising to the top, the current conditions of this entity are being held by the hands of its self created Armageddon. Interviewer: How much blood is left in the heart of a true broadcaster at the moment God calls him or her home? Iaam: A true Broadcaster never dies. He figures out ways to take everything he believes and plant seeds in the soul of the next wanna-be. Then one day at a Morning Show Boot Camp, he unmistakably meets other vampires who were bitten during the same unfulfilled destination with radio passion. The shapes of their eyes are different but never their souls. Each bares the emblem of a legacy; lessons from a radio world overrun with programmers and General Mangers blessed with wishes so large they could never dominate their best aspirations due to a lack of dollar amount to promote everything that could’ve made them legendary. Earning them the right to be unforgettable was an invisible drive to constantly never stop believing. Am I to think of Iaam as a new age rebel? Desperately I want to believe in his spirit but in many areas the rabbit pelts that have fallen from the horse smell better than this man’s anxieties to lead an army toward a war that has never been won. A well rehearsed publicly delivered vow to protect the artist keeps most of his efforts from maintaining a full course of being recognized as a ratings winner or proper talent who grasps onto the idea that playing by the rules earns you just enough brownie points to save your job. Few managers believe in the deeper delivery of the spirit, calling the actions disgruntled. He is looked upon as being a farther than most out there visionary addicted to the melancholy act of performance meeting whatever stage is available. Vocally Iaam participates but without the valor that has led most to the halls of fame to be represented by casting steam into the engines of a nearly one hundred year old ship. He has never programmed a station, directed a stage play or personal life or for that matter, even held down a department head position other than husband, until his most recent hire. Was it a lack of interest, skill or a smarter-than-one-might-assume decision to experience radio through each of its darkest days first, before assuming the role of modern day leader? And yet, without a doubt, I feel something—a genuine passion available for any or all to experience. Interviewer: You seem protective of your life-force. Having such frankness without religion as a backup is looked upon as being the wrong path of choice.” Iaam: Wow…that hurt. He elects to venture toward a long pause; to heal from the accusation is essential. As if to be purchasing time, Iaam uses his broadcasting mannerisms to hold up a weapon of choice: a childlike temple created with his long slender fingers; no bend, each hand representing a separate vision. Resting against his upper lip, not a prayer is whispered, only a determined state of mind which tells me to prepare for possible battle. Iaam: Without religion? Having spirituality is far closer to God than one man’s opinion. I’ve learned how to love all living things including a copperhead snake slithering across a sun drenched driveway. He being there fuels insight. I find tremendous peace connecting with the wind. To hear it gives the chapters we’ve written purpose, heightening our ability to understand the requirements of how life is shared. A dandelion is a continuation that requires the wind to carry its seeds to another part of the lawn. A honey bee doesn’t land on everything pretty; therefore the maker of the planet had to methodize a solid plan to have pinecones explode sending thousands of seeds in all directions in the name of falling witness to rebirth. Interviewer: Are you a modern day hippie? Iaam: I’m not sure what you’re asking. Being part of life, to be so free and well nourished by the marriage of two spirits love and peace requires no tag or description. I vowed to take the shape of a warrior which requires me to study the everyday processes connected to birth and rebirth and locate enough common sense to identify a more solid foundation of reality. We weren’t built to land energy behind a purpose to escape. The human mind, heart, body and soul are machines fully capable of withstanding tremendous amounts of change without having to bury our endeavors inside a substance that feeds reasons to let go. We are taught to quit. We take those thoughts and build rivers and moats to protect our kingdoms of easy ways and means and within that journey it becomes our mission to accept the lessons tossed down through experiences lived out by other peoples’ studies. We are named students so that those who’ve been chosen to follow in the days after our final breath can learn from each mistake, enabling a willingness to correct them before the next generation arrives. All too often such valuable studies are mirages on a highway so we elect to pass them by. Interviewer: A Nuclear disaster hits American shores, who do you vow to protect? Iaam: The spirit of Christ…for who he is and what he is will be least likely to survive during such a crisis. I gawk to see if he is being serious or playing out the radio station shock talker who spins the subject around to portray the opposite end of the field because it garners a guaranteed reaction. He wants to infect me by going reckless. Eyes held stern to his word, he too, waits for an answer. A test of my cause to move and if I don’t, what chess piece will he move? Shall I spout religious quotes to deliver fears? Is he audaciously strong enough to be beaten to tears? Come on, Iaam, step up the batter’s box and set free every reason for me to plan an early escape! Impatient…I’m the first to leap from the standoff by noticing a massive bruise on his right elbow. He leans hard on it, perhaps to reflect his numbness toward reality. I know this type. They fear everything unless there is pain, or when life’s everyday storms evolve into concocted uneducated guesses at delivering a diagnosis. If the eyes are the window to his soul, I’m lucky enough to catch nothing more than a shadow. Lion stained in color, his unseen timid delivery becomes locked onto the shape of my pen. “Is that the same instrument you use each time you invade someone’s creative flow?”, sarcastically pushing my head from side to side. “No…I found it on the floor of the car; the kids must have dropped it when being dropped off at school.” Without permission he takes the pen from my hands then completely without hesitation dismantles it to the point of revealing its tiny spring. “I can’t believe something so tiny has the power to turn your imagination on and off,” Iaam attempts to explain, as a way of consoling my curiosity and assumption of this being his way of breaking down the walls of awkward silence. “My wife finds pleasure in reading what I’ve scratched out. Editing is a word dump and it freaks me out to hear another point of view based on the remnants of tossed out human spirit. I call it life after death.” Interviewer: How important is writing in your life? Iaam: It’s a waterproof tube vibrantly pasted to my brain. Before it gets there each word and or emotion wraps itself around my heart. Then it’s shot straight through my soul into the lining of my stomach to pick up emptiness. The inside of this shell is a ghetto and through total communication and rules governed by horrendous mistakes made along the way, there’s an agreement between the maker and me: allow everything and everyone to be heard. I’m the slum landlord who is unexpectedly shaken awake by a voice begging to break free from fear, attempting to satisfy a hunger. The thinker who plans way too much and a doer who didn’t do in keeping the self I’ve become from feeling failure. I have to live with these creeps, so writing everyday is nothing more than a business manager’s way of sitting with his peeps.” Interviewer: Could you live without it? Iaam: God once whispered so soft into my ear it made my heart stop. Since then I can’t imagine a world without printed words that speak. Even if you’re holding just the cover of what might have been, place the skin next to your ear…a once living tree always has a story to share. Interviewer: Is your life fiction or nonfiction? Iaam: Wouldn’t it be nice if we had the power to decide? What’s real began as a dream…dreams are created by actions made during true to life fears and vivid tortures slithering beneath reality’s bite. My reality is nothing more than fantasy. No steps can be taken forward without placing trust inside a single thought. Thoughts aren’t real…not until they’re delivered. A vow to connect is silently hailed as my act of fiction versus nonfiction. Before visiting the radio station studio I interpreted one of the many web pages designed in his honor as being a rare experience of deeper than average spiritualism. A warm heartedness the average person learns to walk around but never away from because departing might have kept them from being introduced to the changes they were searching for on their personal paths of choice. Each site seemed to be united in agreement with a past neither he nor anyone else can change versus a future he has undertaken to help shape. Tossing the bait onto the plate I would be foolish not to wade into the unprotected water a little more to the point of pulling a wave or two over my head. Interviewer: You speak a lot about writing everyday…what do you say to someone not committed to writing? Iaam: I’ve always been amazed at the number people who stretch in public. We stretch at home, at the dinner table, in front of the television set and while lying in bed. We’re like snakes trying to escape our skin. The more we push and push the easier it becomes to pop our head out of the old while revealing the new. That’s what writing is. Writing stretches your inner core of exploration allowing you to shed hordes of dead layers while inviting new growth, becoming a bigger and better stronger you. Interviewer: Cutters and their parents tend to locate you. Is there a message they’ve not already heard? Iaam: I dream of one day locating the right words to share. Unless you’ve been there, the desire to place a sharp object on innocence remains a misunderstood language. Cutting isn’t always a call for help nor is it an act of wanting to hide something that seemed valuable at the time of creation. Cutting became my ultimate high, later leading to a dangerous addiction to locating other places of release…whatever it took to be set free! My bird Ernie isn’t a cutter but he plucks his feathers. He’s enthusiastic about the immediate rush of endorphins that shoot through the body to repair the injury. I can’t take Ernie to a store and purchase a writing instrument and teach him to put his emotions on paper. I do provide him ample amounts of comfort, talking to him and never at him. It makes him feel as if he belongs. Spiritual leaders teach us to emotionalize—if you can’t let it out, there’ll be an implosion. Cutting is a leak in the hose. Being numb is still a feeling. Being depressed is God gift of not feeling numb. If you are a cutter, I invite you to take a bottle of ink and mentally label it blood. It is the flow from your body that gives what you feel a separate life that can be read over and over, allowing you to recognize the paths that pushed you toward cutting. The ink/blood develops into a journey where you can take what you feel and bond it to an invisible flow without inviting damage to your temple. Interviewer: How did you shatter the habit? Iaam: What seems undetectable to a passerby is as bright as the sun to those performing the personal infliction. I came clean with myself by identifying the problem and through a relationship with writing I was able to physically document the mindsets and mood swings before, during and after the actual cutting, then taped the blades to my writing page. To go back and see them today horrifies me! Sadly, once a cutter always a cutter. Today when the extremely loud urge to release invades my plan, I do push ups. If you do enough of them, the heart races like you’ve just been cut and the pain in the arms are blessed with a tremendous release of endorphins. With true self love and awareness you stop. The positive is a much stronger mind, body and spirit. The white lines asked to survive on his left forearm resemble shooting stars or comets…bold in the front and timid to speak toward the end, some cross while others paint a journey of undiagnosed behavior. Like so many from an everyday front, the concept appears to be uncaring but to a cutter it is a matter of learning how to release what masters of lengthy college educations cannot seem to correct unless they have been there themselves. To try and heal without a doctor’s notice offers more injury to those who love than the child wanting to run. Iaam has heard it all, from feathered warmth of care and concern to preachers spouting Bible quotes about losing his religion. Every now and then he reaches to rub his fingers over each scar created as if to remind him self of a continuing fear connected to living. Interviewer: Is there a place in radio for you? Iaam laughs: Spin the clock back thirty years and baby I’m in! I came into this sport at the wrong time. The eighties were a shift in sound. No one could figure out where Punk truly sat within the limits of acceptance so they added electronics to a pop culture revolution that symbolized individualism without having to upset your parents. Adult Contemporary was a hot radio brand featuring typed out station liner cards which meant jocks were nothing more than professional babysitters. No wonder I spent so much time talking on the studio phone! My job was to serve as the ambassador of having a great relationship with those who received a ratings book. It was the decade before the invention of the World Wide Web! A time when we were forced to communicate through our mouths, not our hands! With plenty of warning the 90’s rolled around… Once here, I was too old to play Top 40. Completely surround by incredibly talented young performers, I looked like the old guy on the corner with hair down to his knees. The best decision on the map was to stop trying to flip off the rules of the business and settle for a more acceptable creative outlet as station image and commercial production director. Although it felt outstanding to no longer worry about the ratings number race, I’ve been unforgiving in realizing how I completely screwed up my childhood dreams! I didn’t get to be what I wanted to become. Everywhere I went, I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time and I’ve paid for it dearly.” Interviewer: You didn’t start out being passionate about radio… I’ve seen your resume. It comes across as a sickness more than a representation of loyalty and dedication. Iaam: Go back to your research papers! You aren’t sitting with a flunky who couldn’t keep a job at the local ice cream shack. Everything I did from the seventh grade up was geared toward spinning music. I swiped music from record shops to keep my bedroom radio station pumped up and fresh. I took high school typing class and accounting and kept score at a bowling alley beyond midnight just so I could buy earphones that I strapped down so thieves like me couldn’t snatch them. I forced myself to learn everything because being everything would land me anything. If it comes across that I’m too dedicated and loyal to an industry that has become weak due to tremendous amounts of career shifters and midlife crisis freaks, that’s your problem for not understanding what it takes to reach someone who happens to pull into your station’s vibrations. I’ve dedicated my life to searching for the face of radio listeners. When you do it as long as I have its easy to see their pattern of buying, driving and waking up…and that, you freak, takes loyalty and dedication. The questions halted immediately. There is silence. The display of anger took from me what little space was available. I shattered his controlled confidence nearly not leaving enough room for me to squeeze a purpose through the eye of a needle. Hair haphazardly parted, one side completely covering his right eye, Iaam’s body actions remained sharp as if to eliminate predictability. Remaining quiet and unattractive to his highlighted mental state, the ambition of this unexpected quest rested on the grip created by fingers meeting a pen. How would I change the game and my plan? Seriously, we have been here before. The tones are straightforwardly calmed by a quick visit back to feeding an ego he has kept hidden but lives off every chance he gets. Interviewer: How did you react when you were nominated for two radio lifetime achievement awards? Iaam: It goes back to my final thought two questions ago; I didn’t get to be what I wanted to be when I grew up…no trophy will soothe the constant drive still left in me. There are days I hurt so bad that I fight like a captured snake to grab the big and little hands of the nearest clock to get them to take me back to the very second I decided to move to this city. I leaped over one hundred markets! Do you have a clue how much of a true radio education I missed out on by not steadily walking into Boise, Spokane, Fargo and Sioux City? I allowed my ego to get in the way! An old program director scolded me in the early days about missing the biggest and best lessons offered. The major players of this industry should be polished not practicing fools who failed to turn a mistake into a brilliant break. I forgot to stop at the places where screwing up would have been a little more acceptable. Coming here could have been a much better fit and experience if I could have created a name first. Instead, I spent the first ten years in this town being nothing more than a kid fresh from the cow pastures of the Wild West. Believing that fish don’t truly like corn but find it fascinating to look at…I continue to dangle the bait in his face, to rebuild the confidence recently torn. Interviewer: You must have done something right…nominations don’t fall from the sky. Iaam: It’s funny how it all came about—I was in the middle of being deeply saddened by the news of my radio mentor Andrew unexpectedly passing. He was a brilliant motivator. He was able to take a seriously cloudy day and somehow create light in the darkest corners. There was one time at the station where he came in extremely ill and he bravely announced on the loud speakers in front of guests, that no one, at any time was to approach him feeling sorry. Winners win when they conquer mountains. So, knowing Andrew, he could feel how sad we were when told of his final breath…and in his Andrew fun loving way, he gathered the guardian angels of every jock he closely taught and in a single breath, was able to convince the radio gods to give each of us a nod. It was through him I learned how to drop the big head and let the industry of radio steal your art. It was never about me. This was our playground and as a single unit we could survive the incredible changes headed straight for the soul. For a guy that doesn’t do drugs, he should become addicted to the stuff that brings you down. I feel as if he’s challenging me to locate his weakness. A spirit of sorts is present in every answer and frankly I’m getting tired of Mr. Happy. I shouldn’t be worried about hitting Iaam lower…the short term goal is to penetrate and infect his experiences. Interviewer: Don’t you think it’s pretty stupid to tell people you can see the arrival of a depression two weeks out? Iaam: If you learn to study your daily breathing patterns the answers will reach you before the questions are created. Your heart knows of an approaching change so it prepares your body to build a defense. By closely watching your body’s actions and reactions, it teaches you to listen to the music your body hums when purified versus cluttered. It doesn’t require confidence to hear the arrival of masked mood bandits. I ask that you remain truthful to the self you are…if you feel something isn’t right, trust that invisible vibration. It could save your life. My lips puckered like a sour third grade teacher set to capture a student casting spit wads toward the window…the very kid who has chosen to chew gum during every test, disturbingly distorting the makings of destiny with smacks and slurps. It proved to be my twist in his fate; the avenue of requirement to slither beside, never losing faith in what ignited our first time. I vividly remember his unimpressed pout, completely torn apart by a lack of dream support. Tossed aside like a true black sheep of the family. Married all his life from mother to first wife with no breaks in between…coping without shame. Becoming numb to the worlds he did keep. I know of the books he has mastered. Each challenge marked by newer shades of ink. Tutoring being completely unavailable forced the shadow left standing in corner to become the better actor; a cramped example of out of control determination set at levels I can reach but my personal objective is for him to come to me. Interviewer: If you didn’t have radio how close would you be to me? Iaam quickly glances at me to take a closer look at the question: Radio is my canvas, without it I’m nothing more than an artist who can turn a shattered window into a masterpiece. No matter where you’re standing, if there’s purpose in our paths crossing, there’s nothing I can do to prevent it from happening. I have this funny way of believing a crowded highway is nothing more than a massive amount of guardian angels on giant computers searching for the proper connection to the their God delivered sponsor dressed in human clothing. Each stroke of the key is like playing with a Rubik’s cube. Maybe one day the freak controlling my collection of colors will land something extremely solid. I refuse to believe in his message. An invisible self lurks in the curve of his cautious eye; a risk taker on stage but too careful in the hands of fate. His past is my path. But do I act so soon? I’ll win this game before the fifty three minutes begin to scream. To make it right and without being accused of stealing he must come to me. Interviewer: Although you claim to have very little, what if you lost all that’s left? Iaam: Growing up disgustedly lesser than middle class with fried eggs and hamburger for dinner and plenty of powered milk to wash it down, one finds it difficult not to keep his mind off a simple luxury such as having paint on the wall and not just 2x4 studs keeping very little insulation in place. I believe it’s the reason why it’s extremely painful for me to invite people into the chapters I write…fear of judgment and no knowledge of grasping the right strings to win over a popularity contest. So, I’ve chosen to live in silence. If it wasn’t for dark rooms with giant locks and windowless bathrooms with only a mirror to glance outside I’d be trademarked insane. No morning passes that I don’t bring the presence of its purpose into what’s being written then shared…to witness its constant growth and departure from an assumed warmth created by mother nature, I’m left humbled. No, jealous that reality has no problem with change. I need for him to stumble. Faded doubt will cause him to shut down. Interviewer: Trees stall progress, by protecting them aren’t you shutting off the world? Iaam takes note of my tone realizing a refusal to agree with his tree hugging mannerism: We’ve become the generation addicted to a single thought: Build it and they will come. Millions of trees are cleared daily leaving gaping holes along side highways where a rich man’s vision has been shot down by a poor man’s common sense. I know! We’ll build a glorified hardware store! No a doctors office! Forget that…we need another foreign restaurant. If progress is determined by the number of empty warehouses there are, then where’s our trophy? Interviewer: Your perfect world is what…a massive return to Daniel Boone-ville? Iaam begins to show his dislike in our conversation, a peaceful protest ensues: The only reason why this nation refuses to go totally green is because big businesses have turned it into a capitalizing opportunity. It’s too expensive to save the world. It’s also extremely ugly! Going green is nothing more than walking through a beat up old hospital and Mother Nature is in room 14-C. The products look medical, smell unpleasant and do nothing in inviting newcomers to a hot idea. We’ll never grasp the idea because being lazy is so much easier. The only thing we really want out of life is a pill that eliminates daily stress while giving us enough energy to waste more money on American Culture. Come on! Look at me when you answer these questions. Get your mind off doing your work, always looking around to see if someone is watching. It’s me who knows of your hiding places and constant act of mental departure! It’s me who volunteered to pick you up when times seemed lost forever! It’s me you are looking for and without directing your attention toward me your paranoia is constantly pointing in every direction the wind blows resembling your Grandmother’s weather torn metal rooster on top of an ancient barn six months from the dump. Look at me Iaam! Recognize who I am because I will always be there for you! Interviewer: Are you more loyal to the radio industry or the person who put you into play? Iaam: Radio is like martial arts…very few discover their true calling until its too late. All too often a radio performer thinks he has seven to fourteen seconds to perform when all that’s expected is a simple bridge between songs, a relate break of sorts, that glides the listener from casting stones into a mountain stream to head banging at a bachelor’s party. Unneeded is a talent trying to be funny or wasting our time with phone conversations that are older than God’s tennis shoes. Jocks aren’t supposed to be the life of the party. If that was the case; we would have been the stars writing and recording the music. You can have plenty of fun gluing the pieces together without stealing from the presentation of an incredible mix of music. As much as I want to say I’m more true to the industry by being a connect and disconnect, I’d have to say the deeper purpose shall always be the person who put me into play. Stop! He said it…”the person who put me into play”. Closing my eyes I feel his energy, hear his heart beat, smell the scent of my winning this game fairly. Iaam: The power of one-on-one radio conversations is a lost art. The pioneers of this industry were spiritually driven into a lifestyle that created a connection. I see it as the assumed loyalty that failed in the handing down process. A finely tuned craft of once unforgettably positive power has disintegrated in the hands of employees who are in it for their name making only and not the innocent bystander who just happened to stop by and grab a listen. Iaam has a tendency to live life through experience. His future acts as if it is protected by an unyielding act of trial and error making him almost mentor like or someone who appears to have been unselfishly cut from a mountainside. When we first met him, his resentment didn’t sit so deep beneath the floors of a personal man cave. I could hand him offers that he would jump quickly to call his own and then masterfully hide from anyone close. The greatest actor you’ll ever meet. What he cannot see or deal with at this present moment does not exist. An undocumented shameful childhood that remains un-rescued shields him even from himself. He would lay awake as a teen begging to be with the beautiful blue eyed blonde he met late one night at the movie theater. She displayed a tremendous willingness toward accepting dares while adding softness to a budding career. Iaam later learned she wore a price tag; make her happier than he would ever be and it must be accomplished, sight unseen, through many places of sacrifice. The world he was to become could not be compared to the facts and factors of what he lived behind closed doors. By giving to her he lost nearly everything including family and later in years, important radio jobs that might have opened the door for larger markets. She held the keys to his important dreams. This is how it works: Men, women and children give away their chapters and I come in after. They need me. I become their newest toy and within our agreement a single vow is agreed upon to always be there, thick or thin clouded. Interviewer: What keeps you coming back to your present place created by a future that doesn’t seem rewarding? Iaam: I’m deeply addicted to a never ending passion of being in the right place at the right time. The most brilliant guitarist on earth isn’t guaranteed a spot in the Rock-n-Roll Hall of fame. The greatest kicker doesn’t take home the Tae Kwon Do gold in the Olympics. But by sticking to the game plan, celebrating the highs while maintaining faith during the lows, you keep the origin of your dreams very much alive and always moving forward. The value of nothing is nothing unless you’ve had a tremendous amount of fun along the way. Fun is like a yawn…it contagious. If enough people spot you keeping it real during every shake rattle and roll, one of you is going to make it, even if it’s thirty years down the road. Is he blind to my anticipation? Outwardly passionate to become someone that has accepted too much before realizing he has gotten nothing. I do that a lot. Give, give, give then grasp it before they offer kudos to the creator for my presentation. A jagged stone only seems solid. Wrap enough temper tantrums into the curves of my palm and temptation shapes the flavor of chocolate. Interviewer: How often have you sold out to make out with something you claim to love? Iaam seems puzzled by my question: Can you really sell out? To get recognized people pull off some of the most bizarre stunts but does it deserve to be dubbed a sell out? It’s about locating enough guts to get recognized. What you’re capable of pulling off today has nothing to do with yesterday. Those destined to rock and be remembered for it are masters at reinvention and if you aren’t doing it…I guess you are selling something……selling yourself short. Radio can be played from two separate fields, playing it safe and bringing it to life. What you become in this industry no longer has anything to do with talent...the luck of the draw wins! I can’t stand it when someone calls me the best at something. Ladies and gentleman, the best are gone. Radio is like a sequestered jury in a talk of the town courtroom. Your life rests in the hands of those not smart enough to get out. From where I sit, a room barely lit to warm the frozen air, I’d say the sharp vocal jabs resemble two brothers constantly bickering. There’s nothing physically noticeable unless you are into his word game. A minister or motivator of sorts aimed at catching anyone off guard like a net with a giant a hole. The dust we keep kicking up is meant to ignite a fire within his burning hell fed by buckets of fat from his unchanged past. A family of many this one comes from. His brother obviously the worst, in and out of jail, then prison. His addiction to meth still my greatest gift. Inside, it tears Iaam’s soul to shreds! Who, what, where and why scrape freshly cut guts from the veins pumping life to a trail reported dead several years before. This one finds purpose in bad behavior. Iaam: One must live the life of the streets to better understand those who require need. I yawn to his dilly dallying. It’s time to sink a kick below the belt. Interviewer: Don’t you find it conceited to say God put you in this production studio? Iaam: I hope that’s not the case. Conceit ruffles my feathers. Aunt Louise loudly expressed her opinion when she pushed me far away claiming I reeked of too much of myself. I’ve spent an entire life sniffing my skin. I wanted to know what conceit smelled like. Is it sweet? Why would so many people in radio, television, movies and music allow themselves to be overcooked with confidence? Bloating must not be painful. Even after Chef Humble has been by the kitchen; it’s almost too easy to leap back onto the stove. My crediting of the higher power has nothing to do with conceit and everything to do with trust and faith. I don’t rush into the studio waving my arms like a monkey while chanting distant love songs to my maker. God’s open door is a patient message for which I’ve been waiting and will wait to wait for until you’re ready to crank up the microphone and get serious about people affecting. Interviewer: How often do you thank me for opening a few doors? Iaam sits confidently and open to answer: Oh I never stop thanking listeners! I wouldn’t have a career if it wasn’t for their decision to take a sneak peak at the sound dribbling from those speakers. An old time radio legend Henry B enlightened me when explaining how to react when a listener asks for an autograph. Have them sign it first, then look them in the eyes and say, “There’s no bigger star on this paper…I’m so much tinier than your name.” I feel like a professional football place kicker and the team refused to show up after the hike. I completely set this man up! I laid that ball into the palms of my ageless finger prints and without focus on a plan he dropped it six tenths of a second shy of scoring the winning touchdown during a national championship. Interviewer: If time suddenly became frozen, where would you like to be standing? Iaam: It happened…September 11, 2001. What if the two unexplained airplanes were the start of everybody’s worst dream: physical war on American shores? I remember sitting down and writing a letter to my wife about possible departures on our path: do all you can to make contact with my family several states away. I too will be in touch and through their efforts we can meet like two misguided streams headed for an ocean net yet invented. I would have preferred a better answer! If time becomes frozen, you won’t be standing, you’ll be dead. Suddenly I feel like an intern sent out to do a man’s job. I’m the man and getting back into his skull is like begging for a conversation with a two hundred year old tree. Do I really have to slice this guy in half to read his rings? Interviewer: What do you fear most…failure or death? Iaam: Death and failure aren’t equal players. One can lead to the other but death can’t bring you back to endure more failure. With failure comes tremendous pain. Death is numbness. To fear failure is nothing more than a self delivered agreement with your creative river and in that handshake you’re saying, I shall feed you no growth. A fear of death may keep you from studying the path of all living things. If a tree has fallen life continues inside and out of its aftermath. From swollen termites to snakes slithering to locate new holes, to the soil becoming fertilized by the remnants of continuation, fear of not becoming part of tomorrow in whatever shape you shall carry leaves open the missing lyric of the greatest written love song. Iaam’s Native American studies shine their separate light adding visuals to a deeper place of travel. In some places of religion he would be looked upon as being New Age or completely out of touch with the God he has vowed his life to. If I keep him on this subject I’ll hear for the four hundredth time about the horned owl who danced for him early one afternoon in the spring. He will speak of birds and their words and deer that romp around his yard like children fresh out of school. I cannot just suddenly announce “I am the snake!” He has them mentally crawling into dead trees! I am so much better, cleaner, more inviting than what most present my ambitions of being. It is they who lack faith, trust and harmony that perform the evil deeds…I only offer company. Interviewer: What do you make of human struggle? Iaam: I often find myself wondering if those beat up during the Great Depression knew what was coming. Were their fears silenced by several different shapes of news media or by an increase in government controlled promises that didn’t amount to any guarantee? Who did they believe in during times of sudden silence? What did they leave in the corners of the room that would one day inspire a generation to locate the very ingredients to lift them out of nearly the same situation? They call it this nation’s darkest time and yet in watching today and tomorrow a serious lack of knowledge creeps into the thin lines of willingness to push our downfalls beyond what is being delivered. Barely a soul understands how close we are to financial extinction. Fifty states strong and one by one each boundary attempts to invent newer ways to tax what no longer carries sound. How much blood can you get from a turnip? If we can no longer afford to fix the parks and other means of keeping nature in its place, how much longer are we required to wait until the wild beasts put us on trial for crimes against their brothers and sisters? The more we can no longer afford the lesser of evils, the grip begins to slip making it no longer the Master of Invention. Interviewer: Will the cockroach outlive a Timex watch? Iaam laughs out loud: Depends on if the world’s richest man continues to bank on making computers that break. He sold us software that demanded constant updates. Timex could once take a licking and keep on ticking. Who needs that today? Five days deep into a new look and you’re already out of date. The watch is tossed into a box then sold at a yard sale. Nobody would purchase the cockroach. Although it is slender and can crawl into really tight places a painter or electrician can barely reach, its feelers are too long and it resembles a beat up Volkswagen with a whip antenna. So we elect to squish it. We can learn a lot from both never ending products. If we don’t go green and start picking up after ourselves, the next rent payment will be sent directly to the local trash dump. The conditions can’t be that bad, I’ve yet to see a starving cockroach. The watch tends to embrace time without running out of energy racing away from it. No matter into what shape society puts it, guess what keeps ticking? The Timex doesn’t understand the term, “I quit.” I have had several playful opportunities to build webs capable of trapping his constant desire. His words, almost gagging thoughts, feel as if they have been tossed out like candy at a parade from a politician seeking votes on Election Day. Someone close to him once asked if all the clouds in his world were pink and purple. I sat back laughing as he explained. If you want him to, he’ll do it. My children tend to over create during times of self doubt and hate, constantly screaming how lonely they feel. So they make things up to help better digest my simplicity. In 1979 an unpainted portrait of this self I have begotten came into play the night his band washed their out of tune habits free from their body…alcohol, drugs and plenty of women, which just so happens to be my favorite teen treat! Jealousy led to the lead guitarist’s fingers being crushed in the car door. Will Mr. Perfect speak of it during my fifty three minute interview? No! What about the 3am kegger in the foothills that led to his friends nearly rolling their car next to the river? He didn’t learn, so I put his tail five hundred feet above the city laced in street sweets laughing uncontrollably when his cousin put the front end of his car in a mountain ditch sending instruments through the car like weapons set on fire. I’ve yet to figure out why none of them were hit. Like him, I never quit. Two years later he laid spent on the kitchen floor with shattered glass strewn from the remnants of a wife who couldn’t keep her visions of love from anyone wanting to taste some. I wrapped his fingertips around the shard of comfort and drove it into his wrist! I want the credit for feeling all that pressure instantly leaving his nightmare! His dog, an Alaskan malamute sat next to him; a whine within his compassion interrupted our late night dance of destruction…I had him! I could have pulled from the wind the final breath that made him. He was mine until I realized, this cutting game could be the start of self separation. To get there required me to unfaithfully penetrate a behavior he had never met but once he did…it would cost him his true passion, making my job complete. As fresh blood fled from his dilly dally love for a blonde out of control, I knew in this pitiful soul that in the end I didn’t have just another face to stack on the book case…this kid could bring others to greet me! I held inside my personal destiny a toy to call my own. Keeping it would be the tricky part. His tongue is slyer than a fox on the run. As I trained him, he would be showing me newer ways to gain fame within the chapters of God meets reality. People, no matter how big, small, infamous or out of fame will say nearly anything when they don’t realize the true identity of the person interviewing them. Very protective of the spirits of all parties involved, Iaam has always taken the higher road of explaining how peaceful each departure seemed. I wanted desperately to interrupt him, shaking his skull off the shoulders he keeps aiming at me and scream, “You jerk! I am the one who took them away! Give me the credit deserved for totally knocking you off your feet and making you bleed tears from the pits of a darkness that I own!” Like a tree, the positive man was chopped to his knees. He literally brought out the devil in me. Interviewer: Why do you allow yourself to constantly be set up for failure? Iaam seems quiet and almost overshadowed by the reminders of his places of travel: I call that side of me the beast. A challenger who has battled unseen wars while wearing scars he has nicknamed as a way to never lose sight of the lessons learned. Through several years of constantly watching patterns and paths it’s become almost too easy to predict the steps of nothingness and yet my fists are full of gut wrenching pain. An ache is a mile marker. An open wound is unperfected visions of misguided destinations. Those baring the marks of a tattoo artist carry the very message I sing when placing razor blades in places of tremendous release. The remnants of an artist are more acceptable inside a society that brands its travelers with acceptance speeches or every reason to banish their places of being.” Glancing at his left arm, the autographs remain…my personal victory speeches delivered in ways books and preachers cannot stop or else the world would be too perfect. He bares tattoos as if to be Picasso, he who once rid the world of his artistic mistakes by darkening the lines so nothing could be seen therefore never raising questions. Nineteen minutes gone from a promised fifty three. Do I draw from him my blood in the hope he will returns one, two or maybe three just as loyal to making marks on the invisible society? Cutters, pill poppers are powerless until bathed in false hopes, highs and everything mine. These children worsen before getting better. Losing faith in a God that never listens. Only to find themselves wondering why the world has everything but. Weak! Weak! Weak! An oblong planet blessed with too many wants and not enough ears to listen. So one by one I toss them into my trunk. Be here, be near, be without fear…but when the day arrives to collect what rightfully belongs to the keeper of the keys…you can’t argue with me…just get in, fit in, dine in but not out…you’re coming with me or I’ll get extremely loud. Interviewer: You have a dark side. I can see it in your eyes. Why didn’t you learn better ways to hide rather than wear it in plain sight? Iaam: Ha! That’s a question straight from the depths of hell! I’m not carrying the weight of darkness. I don’t have what it takes to bring sadness to another person’s eyes. I vowed to invite newer ways to discover true happiness, not strip from someone’s arms the assumed abilities of a dream almost coming true. I study everyday to do nothing more than locate a path strong enough to hold the courage of anyone willing to listen. I’ll laugh at your joke today…but if you keep making me look like the devil then maybe its time you leave. Interviewer: Let me check my Blackberry to see if I’m in the right place. His sister hates him, claims she has a connection to God and wants the master of all creations to call him home. In a heartfelt email she warned Iaam to take her serious. That the pacts made have ended a lot of good lives and God has no problem taking care of them! The typical brother sister battle where the giving up process has deeply set in. The atmospheric operator intercepts the vocal visit sending it straight to my pad and paper. I show up and I shake hands with the maker of the wish. Her life of perfection and my ears begging for direction; there is no better combination. He acts as if he is untouched by careless word play, yet deep inside he is bawling like a child that didn’t get his way. Iaam means well but he can’t take care of the world. From the outside looking in nobody listens. They see a manipulating liar and that burns his soul so thin he could drop at anytime. The headlines will read: The Misunderstood. Interviewer: Come on man…stop trying to read me like a book! You’re the jerk that stood in front of a reality television 2nd place winner and asked him if he was the reincarnation of a past musical great. Why do I have to play the G rated game?” Iaam shoves everything to the side including his two hundred dollar earphones: I’m easily bothered by negative energy in my production room. What I feel in the present makes its way through these ears, into my heart then out my fingers connected to a computer creating commercials and thoughts blasted through radio airwaves. What I feel…so will a passerby. I can’t be the only person who can hear sadness through bright beautiful smiles. As much as I claim to be the greatest actor you will ever meet, look behind the curtain and realize there are millions better than me. If what you see is a man with positive vibrations leaking from his cheeks learn to look deeper and recognize his truest passion and desire is hell bent on the idea that he doesn’t want others to feel the way he does. He knows hatred. He knows fear and lack of confidence. He has walked the path of working condition addictions and sliced into his shell to relieve any or all pressure associated with a beast inside him that screams for taking two seconds to sleep. He takes to fighting when others are attacked while vowing to put forth the energy required in making a better map. I wasn’t invited to participate with this world to be nice. I was born with the guts to stare into the soul of someone I’ve gotten to know and simply tell them to get on their feet…now! If my silence generates vomit the color of cancer, look at whose palm is still open. It’s your ego that keeps you from reaching upward and out. It is then I softly smile and turn in the hope that God will grant us another chance on a newer day. Interviewer: How would you best describe where you are? If you truly know where you are… Iaam: Like most things I sink thought into, any answer will serve as the best way to leap toward a better question. It’s too easy to say, “I’m where I need to be and through this agreement with my creator I’ve learned to be humbled by any and all experiences.” Interviewer: Do you think you deserve to be here? Iaam’s stern look carries energy: Like anyone else, I was once a child with large dreams and wishful thoughts, only to learn the best I ever got was a poster to hang on the wall. I would have loved to have played radio in Los Angeles and Chicago! It would have been great to write chapters that take up two shelves at a bookstore. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to write down the lyrics of a song and realize the world is singing along. I remember sitting in my childhood bedroom creating card games then instantly turning it into a television show with what felt like real people to me. I would ask each contestant questions and without a doubt they would answer back. I built a radio station that could broadcast two blocks from my house. The hours spent doing live radio shows at twelve and thirteen years old was like walking on the moon. It was an invisible passion and if ignored it raged against me in ways that created silenced sadness. So I would jump on my handmade wanna-be ten speed bike and rip across the horizon like a super hero chasing down evil! Or I’d pretend the U.S. Olympic team needed me to help them reach for a brighter gold only to find myself standing next to the house with a tennis ball throwing it like a big leaguer in games I could see inside a head that just wouldn’t let me sleep.” Interviewer: What if I said you aren’t in a radio station studio but rather a bed? What if I said your eyes aren’t going to open again? Iaam becomes mad: This is the stuff that doesn’t make me laugh. I’ve never been a fan of the inevitable. We aren’t born to die. Life is a continuation. Not a final destination. Seeds are transferred from one field to another allowing newer shapes to blossom without inviting reasons to sever the ties associated with dying. We are born to make a difference, to create a legacy, a reason for people we will never meet to keep reaching. I’ve angered many for not breaking at the knees during a moment of loss. The books I’ve studied and people I’ve met showcase gatherings of nations that look at death as being a reason for a celebration of life! To grab the earth and scream at God isn’t an act of courage but instead human selfishness connected to a fear of being alone. I’ve been there…a mountaintop in Montana July 1994. I screamed so loud it thundered then snowed. No matter how hard you try you’ll never be big enough to outrun or over create something bigger and better than the man who put you here. Interviewer: If I allow you to open your eyes who do you expect to see? What if there is no one? Will you pass heartbroken? You have said it many times, you weren’t placed here to recreate a smile…a lack of kindness has ways of eroding shapes and sizes. Iaam: From where I stand you see what I see. Outside that window are my favorite things: trees, long stems stuck feet first in mounds of strength and companionship. The tree requires tremendous amounts of friendship with the sun, wind, rain and soil and along comes man with his desires to recreate the wheel. Chop, chop, chop…now tell me why it’s difficult to heal? I honestly live by a quote handed to me while driving: “May the sun rise above your tears. Through each day we share several different types of tears. Tears of happiness, tears of sadness, and because of our overactive careers and addictions to excitement, we have tears of loneliness. If we learn to look around us, we’ll begin to recognize our family and friends…allow this circle to represent the sun…may the sun always rise above your tears.” The impact of normal everyday poetry lasts about long as it takes to write. Once free it hides in books lost in closets or attics where a single seventy five watt bulb highlights barely a few of the thoughts making the writer’s journey seem worthless. To speak it requires the writer to live it but to get close enough to it you’ll be forced to envision a tree’s inner most beauty. Not what kisses a passing cloud but the lines and vines that make up the oxygen for the silent children who require no light in order to survive. I’m not melted by words that rhyme and the timing of such rhyming slams the freak right into my out. The poet’s forest feeds not what you seek but what has been lost is sought. I perfectly presented the obvious question only to be given a flower with hardly a scent so I’ve become a bucket of questions with tons of resentment. Interviewer: Open your eyes! You can’t! Iaam’s reaction becomes unstable and more visible as he prepares to locate a reason to find purpose in having the conversation: What are you talking about? Look! It’s a radio station control board! VU meters! Test! Test! They are measuring my voice as I speak. Behind you is an extremely large wooden door that hundreds of people walk through daily demanding my imagination to write and produce the roots to their next paycheck! Interviewer: There’s a reason for this vision you keep. You only see what made you happy. The image has created a screensaver of your unapproachable tomorrow. Iaam angrily pushes his inability to control his mood swings forward: I’m not a computer! There are no invisible devices locked onto my efforts to deliver an easier path for people to follow. You act as if a fantasy is filibustering my capabilities of seeing reality. Interviewer: In less than thirty minutes you are going to stop breathing. Your mind, body and soul will fight its hardest battle to rip a sliver of air from something it can no longer reach. Iaam: Why are you saying this? If I’m truly crying for help why are you letting me fall face first into a pool of unknown substance? Do you find pleasure in watching me drown? Interviewer: It’s not my place to tell you how you got here. It’s not my passion to suddenly help you fake your way in delivering a new reality. I’ve been nice and you have elected to be poetic. All I want is my well earned credit. Iaam throws several sheets of unused paper at me: What credit? I’m not made of plastic! I’ve put tremendous amounts of energy into making sure what I have is paid for. I can’t stand the idea of owing people! That’s why I push people away! The only time there’s ever been a conversation it has been to benefit them and it gets extremely tiring to hear “I want!” “I have to have!” “I need this by…!” The best way to survive their constant drive is to make sure we stay completely off each other’s streets. Interviewer: You liar! You begged me to find fame! Iaam: I have no fame! I sit in a radio station studio with nothing better to do but make a connection between clients and sales reps with extremely high hopes of crafting a plan that mysteriously makes its way into the heart, body and soul of a listener who just happened to slow their life down long enough to take note of something they can add to their life. How could you have located me fame when there has never been such an avenue for me to follow? Interviewer: You’ve spoken to hundreds of schools, businesses, pioneers and prisoners. You set a personal goal to seek higher knowledge to enter their lives to enhance their advances toward a stronger more productive life style. I gave you that knowledge! I put you in front of them! Iaam: No. I thank God every day. He created this path! I am and will always be His student and every word I read and bring to life is to benefit His purpose. not a total unknown who walks into my place of creative flow and jackhammers my ambition with a fake shock jock approach to harnessing something that’ll shape his interview into an avenue of embarrassment. You sir, are outdated with your style and manners! Your functioning thought process is no longer a representation of what broadcasting is or should have ever become. Interviewer: Twenty nine minutes… Iaam: I’ve got nothing! I wasn’t the broadcaster I dreamed and hold no one but myself responsible. Stop doing this interview now! Interviewer: Fine… Now call someone to escort me to the door. The phone to your left features no zero…therefore the receptionist will find no one big enough to remove my behavior from your sudden disliking. He accepted the challenge, one zero, two, three…he touched it again and he saw. No dial tone. No cord connected to something the remnants of his imagination placed there six seconds before I invited his efforts to make the call. What he sees is a past he can’t change. What he’s living are my reasons for ganging up on his self righteous behaviors assumed forgiven…by what? A God he can suddenly talk to through closed eyes and clinched fists? If he only knew how many times I’ve seen this. Jesus said! Jesus promised! Jesus guarantees! Then why am I here and he is lost somewhere on a path with no crumbs to carry his sorry story to the grave he’s headed to in twenty eight minutes? Dogs are cute, cuddly, filled with unconditional love and come with absolutely no judgment. I’m like that…I allow you to play with your Gods, spirit keepers and guides, having the confidence you’ll be back. If not, I’ll find you. I put value in loving a weak soul. I call it unrehearsed anger. I’m not such a bad guy; I care for the outcome of every situation. I know what to say, when to say it and how long we should stay on the subject before I calmly add give me my credit. The Preacher man screams every Sunday morning about what the book says! Then it’s what He says! Sin, sin, sin! I can lead you to the promise land! Now pass the plate so we can keep the doors of this temple open another week. Look how many trees I’ve saved by not forcing people to read a book or sit in extremely hard wooden benches. Dogs top the list of my favorite magnet! People toss them out like candy wrappers, so I pick them up and drop them into the laps of weak hearted wanna-be caretakers who would own a thousand cats if society allowed it.” Interviewer: You wanna shout and tell me how much you love God? I‘ll never do him wrong! It doesn’t take much to locate a pressure point. Once inside I patiently wait until its time. Iaam nervously stands up to protect the body that’s reached a level of fear: Am I being shanked? I’ve played many roles on life’s everyday stages but this one is getting crazy. Are you with some Reality TV show? Are you carrying a tiny secret microphone for a local news channel searching for the true believers versus those who spout words? I chose spirituality over religion; less pressure, little fear, a quieter place to grow inside, then out, while still being focused on the solid principals of what the completely filled pages of the great book puts into play. Besides, the Devil is a snake! Not a lover of dogs and cats! I keep waiting for you to whip out grapes and apples from the forbidden garden. Interviewer: Going Goth killed the snake. I don’t need eyeliner to sell my purpose of being. I can be you, your boss, sister and mother at the same time. I do not need the chilled belly and set of stern snake eyes to wiggle my way into your life. The fear of a slithering tongue twister faded when school teachers allowed mice, rabbits and rats into their classroom and gave them names like Randolph, Tanino and Pepper. As for the passion fruit and the devouring of food from a tree…please…the author of that book was Hollywood before it was cool. With everything you love and hate about the paths you took and take…if you made a single decision would it be to qualify you as a great leader? Iaam: I wholeheartedly believe if you don’t make bad choices in life nothing is learned. The school of hard knocks not only has the power to drop you to your knees but after kicking your tail it’ll reach for your hand to pull you back up. After awhile you begin to feel like brothers. One minute It’s all laughs and giggles, the next totally Kane and Able. As a kid, I didn’t care about the consequences connected to bad behavior. Any attention was brilliant in my book, just spell my name right. Today, it’s a continued effort to live on the edge but be very much aware of the lives that’ll be destroyed. Does sticking my neck out there make me a leader or does washing my hands after each use of the bathroom set the good example? I’ve reached that chapter in the book of life that says you’ll see people doing what you once did. It’s up to you to figure out a creative way to sway them away from the destinations you didn’t reach. Leading a horrible life has turned me into a much better teacher. I don’t believe in hand-me-downs and I can’t stand flea markets and garage sales. If you want something, figure out the plan and make it yours. In the end you’ll be left holding a picture based on whether you made the best or worst decision. Interviewer: I choked the good right out of you. Your brother had fast cars and those cute tiny sisters had parental love. You, being the middle child, allowed me to feast on your dreams. I still remember the night you came to me, ripped to shreds because you didn’t fit in. I made you feel welcome. I put you in circles of friends that better understood your indifferences. You went from B’s and A’s to D’s and F’s and didn’t get reprimanded. You wanted live Rock-n-Roll…you demanded the stage and the material to write about; teenage alcoholism, late night parties that sent your parents over the edge and attractive young girls with their star struck eyes and jeans so tight. The old man you’ve become is the one who’s on the run. That kid you once held in the clutches of deciding life or death is still inside you and it’s that little Dare Devil I want to speak to. Daddy’s home my little man! Come give me a hug! Iaam’s reaction to my actions is too predictable as his eyes dart up and above, below and around the room like firecrackers set free inside an empty metal barrel. Few individuals in or out of radio know of his ambitious endeavors within the ranks of what keeps him up and constantly pushing forward. Jokingly he speaks of it being his male enhancement, a requirement to experience moments of feeling needed. Next to nothing, anger, if it exists, is worn on sleeves pushed above elbows. If only his parents had stared longer into the lyrics of the love songs he’d written while realizing the oddly shaped heart he bellowed inside messages of sorrow and pushed aside sadness. If a destination had made it into port the ending wouldn’t require his assumed invisible need. A getaway out weighs mental suicide. The letting go of one’s life to fall through filters purchased to collect what little is left so that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can put the music man back together again. Drawn toward my open door policy Iaam continues: One of my best friends was murdered. I wasn’t shocked, surprised or for that matter disappointed. We lived a lonely life on the backstreets of small town America where there are never enough cops to keep the assumed good kids down. We challenged each day like it was our last, leaping off two story houses then giant cliffs made of dirt while swimming in the currents of a major river without lifejackets to steal us another breath. I swear to God I died during the summer of 79. To this very second I can’t feel the riverbed beneath my feet. We were laughing, cutting up, drinking beer like it was Kool-Aid and I elected to hit the farthest side of the algae stained stones because they were incredibly slippery so it meant I’d fly faster down the river. Everything was caramel apples and popcorn until my body swiftly turned and suddenly I was headed backwards down the river. I couldn’t see to block the larger rocks from hitting me. First my right arm, then left, sharp jabs to the back like a boxer putting faith in kidney punches. Rivers at water level are extremely loud until the temperature changes. The moment I heard nothing is when I tried to open my eyes. I could see nothing but particles of grass, trees, seeds and whatever else makes up a rivers story. I had become part of its starving stomach. The water filled my mouth; I couldn’t spit it out fast enough. Each arm felt like it had been cut off while my legs quickly grew extremely tired. One would think I fought the fight, taking on God’s decision to keep his catch or throw it back. I went limp…doing nothing more than floating with the strength of the very path Lewis and Clark used as their super highway. Then my right knee collided with a boulder. It hurt so bad it forced me to extend my leg. Once out and away from my fetal position shape, I felt another jagged stone cut into me then another. That meant the water was no longer deep. Reaching with my arms I pulled myself toward one of the rocks that begged to kiss me goodbye. My fingertips dug into the algae… Ripped by the current each nail bled a steady stream while my feet were left dancing with a current to a different beat. There was no way to tell what a swift shift of bad decisions can do to a seeker. I had been forced back to shore nearly a mile away from those I had partied with…making the rivers bite my new king. The visual of him reliving the sharp swords of the underworld felt like feathers tickling the curves of my inner arm. The bloodless pleasure filled with the sensation of purchasing his behavior entitled me to step two, maybe three steps closer toward his hand meeting mine. Then off we’d walk before the clock struck fifty three. How should I make this one fall to my knees begging to be set free? I love seeing fists that were once clinched so tight the color from their face became separate shades of a blue and gray. Once won, my job is done. I reach toward the fingerprint, seek its signature and place it in my pocket. Not a giggle, nor a wasted evil smile. I know who I am and he has offered me his life. I only wish to collect what is mine. Through the constant availability of winds of change he leaks not from the eyes when confronted with my unbridled affair. Iaam tends to tease more than please, leaving the simplest temptations almost or nearly untouched. So strong he must feel especially since the avenues of leading him toward what is real are nothing more than stakes stuck in sand and up until now there has never been a need to create a highway. But look at what he brings. A city, a county, a snarling community of followers who will sit back and wonder how such a nice face could be such a thing. It’s always the quiet ones isn’t it? Interviewer: Why aren’t you laughing at this story…you survived! Iaam: I’ve never thought of it as being a test of survival. I walked down that riverbed of rocks, frozen by a chill delivered to the slight curve in my backbone, knowing it had nothing to do with the temperature of the water. It belonged solely to the idea I couldn’t touch the bottom.” Interviewer: But it was much deeper the night you killed Rene. The one person who found enough love in her heart to walk toward you covered in river blood and you took it from her a year later. Exposing a shocked expression Iaam shouts: Stop it! I’m no where near being over that night. We were playing! It was supposed to be a quick high. You breathe fast and hard sending the mind into hyperventilation then someone squeezes you from behind. We did it million times! A kid’s game! I wasn’t trying to kill Rene! One by one people would go through the motions. We’d drop them to the floor and they’d run around for thirty seconds like their heads were cut off, numb, confused and inches from the worst headache they’d ever faced. Then Rene pushed again, everybody gathered while she took in as much air as she could. The moment she started to sway, I grabbed her and she went instantly limp. Something didn’t feel right. I thought she was faking it. I didn’t drop her to the floor, I laid her down softly. She wouldn’t wake up. The beer party filled with young teens and no adults exploded into fear. I kept talking to her, “Come on Rene… wake up! Come on! The joke is over…give me a fake smile or something.” Her face was completely unmoving, taking on a shade of white innocence I’d never seen before. Tony and I failed to freak, deciding instead to give her an uneducated blast of assumed CPR. He kept rubbing her heart while I pinched the nose and slowly slid new air into a region of life I’d never traveled before. Then she moved, nothing like a movie where they suck in air then get up and start dancing again. Rene vomited in my mouth causing us both to begin hacking and gagging while searching for anything available to put inside that was healthy. I will never forget being the first person she saw, her halo blue eyes gently opened revealing tremendous amounts of blood shot memories of the land she ran from. She screamed so loud, “Get back! I hurt! God my head hurts!” Her fist collided with my efforts to help free her. Not once but six or seven time to my cheeks, nose and forehead. “Oh God someone please make my head stop hurting,” she continued to scream. Tony and I carried her into my brother’s bedroom where I hoped the scent of spilled beer and cigarettes wouldn’t be swimming. I wouldn’t leave her side. Something happened that night that changed my path forever That’s not where, when and how his life changed. The actual prayer was delivered to my open palm years earlier. I’m no fool. Once the scent of his petition touched the inner restrictions of my true goals, Twitter, Facebook, My Space or e-mail reply, I’m not too shy to step into the light. It’s my job to save the world! I’m the buzzard, black crow or restaurant Sparrow hired to reconstruct human existence. A resurrection of ambition put into play after hand fed crucifixions. I’ll show anyone a great time. Then we talk again before you’re final goodbye. No tears, beers or fears. Just you and me. Even if it takes nearly thirty ticks on a clock to reignite the memory that reshapes the origin of your often loud yet promising vow, whatever it takes! Just do it! I will do anything to get there! Interviewer: Why did you dream of having a different mother? Bewildered by my ability to know his journey, Iaam wants to defend his reasoning: “It was my third grade teacher…Mrs. Stephenson. Who wouldn’t want someone so incredibly open and unforgettably caring to be their mother? She was the first to listen to the songs I sing, later taking the time to lead every bent note and long gasp for air to the All City Choir. I would impatiently sit in class begging to be turned loose. Once home, I’d race to my bedroom and do everything to fall quickly to sleep. Once there it became my lasting cure to hear her voice calling me for dinner. Interviewer: When you couldn’t sleep? Painfully Iaam admitted: “I’d make my way to the medicine cabinet and take sleeping pills. I just wanted to hear her voice! To watch her speak with such simplicity and then do it again in Spanish. Interviewer: The pills weren’t your only escape. Iaam: I’d climb to the top of our two story house and jump into the dirt pile. I wanted to hurt myself because injured people sleep a lot. I learned to walk on boards with nails in them to feel the tremendous pain shooting through my feet believing if delivered hard enough I’d be sent to my room to do nothing more than sleep. By the eighth grade I was putting razor blades up to my eyes and cutting into the corners hoping a black eye would grant me permission to be left alone. I wanted desperately to sleep and being injured meant time in bed. Interviewer: You don’t sleep today…why? Iaam: I’m horrified of sleeping, believing something will one day reach out and keep me. The goal is to remain extremely busy. In doing so I pour powerful mega drinks into this frame giving it names like lacing up or juicing the need. I can’t jump off houses anymore. I can’t walk close to the edge of shattered rules and not expect harsh consequences to latch onto me like fire scraping the dust from my body the way a marshmallow melts inside a hot flame. Interviewer: Do you think I’m evil and sometimes uncaring to my clients? Iaam: I find tremendous amounts of fascination in the wisdom others carry and if being off track with niceness is your career selection, honestly it becomes my direction to study your path of choice. I’ll talk about anything in the way of tagging the gag. It’s a way of mile marking the shaded trail; presenting myself as your purpose but no where near the product you assume is your destination. I stand proud in the charisma God gifted me, and jump at every opportunity to seize control of an avenue no longer recognized as being a safe place for traveling. When I took up martial arts, it wasn’t to star in movies, to lose weight, feel great or open a school of my own. I use every method taught for over two thousand years to the Japanese, Chinese and Koreans to convince a saddened soul that winning is a choice. I can’t get there without learning how to battle temptation, hunger, fear and doubt. No war has ever been won by one. I’ve learned to study all life forms, putting faith in the open palms of humbled new beginnings. I’ve stopped slapping pesky flies while better protecting the dampened moth that sucks in air during the arrival of heavy morning dew. I reach to pull the dead carcass of a traffic devoured snake, owl or hawk from the streets of everyday life to do nothing more than plant what remains in the soil so that others who might stop for a bite aren’t put in the same place of danger. People are no different! Rather than fight the memories of teenage alcoholism and modern day methods of being a workaholic, I find tremendous peace in locating others like me. I like to share with them better ways of not becoming angry when life goes wrong at times of heartache, hardship and decisions that have no purpose of being made other than you do, and did and now you are left with a life you’re embarrassed by. Interviewer: What you confessed was an act? You’ve elected to play against me? Iaam smiles like a cartoon character: You can’t walk through life wondering how you’re going to die. You can’t waste God given energy on whether your efforts are far reaching or land only a quarter inch from the lips that spoke it. The greatest collection of movies a single person owns is the good bad or evil memories swept from reality and tucked away in deep places. We watch them at the first scent of a perfume or cologne that softly flies between stores. We rip them from boxes while visiting cities of chapters past or baseball games and celebrations that were once a given but are now part of secrets that seem to last and last. I have no fear of talking about the films I keep. I know there could be another like me and if given the chance I’m going to embrace the odds and whisper hope onto the leaves that decorate the line of trees protecting that soul from unpredicted rain storms. Interviewer: Ha! I put those very words in your mouth! I fed the streams to your lake so that you would regain the courage to fight me! I waded in waters neck deep to pull your face upward to breathe. It was I who gave you everything you have so that your poor pitiful sad story of being a middle child born in the heart of nowhere would lead you to faces and voices that I need to better my odds in this so called war against your self righteous savior. You have less than twenty minutes to give me the credit required! Iaam prepares for battle: It wasn’t you…and if dying trying to prove you wrong is the only choice I’m gifted with, the opposite side is winning. Not for me, but for those alive who have chosen to not only seek on well lit sidewalks and through corporate gray colored hallways, but who have become locked inside hours that lead to days and years in total darkness. Men and women who have walked until their feet became scabbed over and callused, forcing the free flow of blood to stop because the rest of their body cried out so loud that it separated the clouds of doubt, making way for bright sunrays to penetrate every door that screams, “We’re closed.” If I truly am beneath the cold white sheets of a hospital bed with no proper guidance to open my eyes a final time, then let me die. And in taking my life know that what has been accomplished during the documented chapters of a believer in Christ does have the strength to reach a nearby neighbor or friend who’ll take every challenge I’ve faced and teach it to someone else caught in a silent battle of sickness and depression. Interviewer: Wow! I’ve just met the poster child for everything non-religious, born again spirituality with no church or congregation to call him brother. Iaam spouts like a fountain tossing water toward an untouchable sky. Heart felt drama bores me to the point of wanting to rip his lungs clean of whatever gasps of air he might get lucky enough to puff out like a child’s train with weak batteries. Methods of his madness are spotted everyday in mental institutions overfed with artists and visionaries who claimed they saw the great creator during a lonely walk down a dirty dusty trail, and poof! Like a butterfly shooting from its cocoon, there before them was God. I know! I’ll write love songs about it! I’ll paint on long blizzard white canvases connecting sadness to all things happy and be…and be…the same foul mouthed soul who sold your heart to me when things didn’t feel right. Interviewer: What am I supposed to think when you get all goobered up with total nonsense “God talks to me” speeches? Iaam: I’m the student vowing to better understand the connection between all living things. I stare into my dogs eyes vowing to know their soul. I want to instantly recognize them the next time we meet. Their patience and unconditional love shapes the wisdom of the old men and women we become. Through dogs, more is shared with the world with less conversation allowing willingness to sit up straight and just listen to the wind. Dogs don’t race to catch a Frisbee; they see how it rides across the smooth curves of a passing breeze. Then they reach high and long for the opportunity to embrace its presence and tremendous inner peace. Interviewer: Stop! Please! No long stories about how man came from a circle of animals and it was his ego that led him away from the pack. Iaam: The afterlife is the next stage of education. Will there be streets paved with gold? Those who have faith believe it so. I see it as the next opportunity to execute lessons taught. In the grand scheme of things life then death seems all too easy. What if we’re nothing more than a single cell on a large journey through a blood stream and it’s become our mission and purpose to help heal the body, mind and spirit of a bigger living being? What if Heaven is the sound of a mother’s heart beat and through her soft touch music is shared within the frozen temperatures of fear stealing from her the only air that keeps her from loving her child one more day? She breathes what we bring into a continued leap of faith? I am no master, no doctor, nor over-trained theory loving philosopher strapped to bookcovers the size of card tables. But I am a traveler and too much of this life felt like another day, another time. Each face could’ve have been the petal of a freshly blossomed rose and through our connection we guaranteed to meet another time and place amongst the levels of other uncontrollable races. Dogs prepare us for the sleepless nights that soon ensue. They cradle our current destinations of discomfort by offering massive amounts of eyes meeting eyes and gentleness offered through careful measures of blessed togetherness. If I were asked to paint the picture of God’s best looking angel, it would be the portrait of a dog. And what does his good book say of me? Am I not described as God’s greatest and most beautiful creation? Therefore he’s unknowingly elected to speak of me when describing God’s best looking angel. A man who fails to listen walks deeper into his unguided tour of darkness. A dog is my lantern into the hallowed halls of wonder. A weakened heart sets into play the way an innocent pair of eyes gifted to a whitetail deer incautiously steps into a forest of crowded trees. Marked are never the men whose final destination is to pull down the gentle music so why would you think I’d use weapons of destruction that invite instant recognition of me? Dogs gate-keep my property. Every step, each day of happiness, sickness, fields of fear and confusion are nothing more than channels that one allows them to be tuned into and out of, making it extremely easy to be viewed and then controlled by me. So open Iaam remains, by staying positive about one day meeting up with those he’s elected to save. In what book of religious value does it pinpoint the plan that my dogs are shape shifters blessed with life after death amounts of love and care? Interviewer: In which chapter of our conversation would you say nothing of what I’ve shared means? Iaam: How dare you step into a fight with that being your only weapon of choice! You don’t embrace unconditional love! You steal it to give to no one, glorifying your ego. Through temptation and temptation only an innocent family member or friend might look toward the avenues of roses you’ve planted but once near the sweetest scent known to man, the thick thorns of a bush that requires the fires of the sun to harness beauty, lashes out at their skin robbing blood from their searching soul. Each vein calls out to another, creating so much chaos that the now darkened and dried blood stains serve as your path to a life you…not them…but you sacrificed to change! Anything weighted with sights to which we cannot step away from becomes your open door. You didn’t create it! God brought it to life and you’ve elected to step into an area of the unknown to attempt to explain to the wondering mind why it is it can’t seem to finish what it completed and it is you who invites people to follow so that you shall show them a better way.” Interviewer: This is how you choose to depart? What about those meditational manuals with yoga gibberish based on walking in peace? “You must not fight a war when your creator is calling you back home… You must allow your mind to be set free so that your rebirth can be swift and not challenging.” How is your God going to accept the idea that you let someone speak to you in ways his book failed? What happen to the golden rule of there being no false idols? You are not welcome in Heaven child! I, on the other hand, welcome you… Now that! That is unconditional love!” Iaam begins to shout: God put me in front of those books to better understand the constant changes of a growing people and spirit without having a need to be filled with judgment. Through his loving ways and teachings a city block doesn’t have to be a divided conclusion. My Grandmother spent many summers working closely with horribly tainted lives bruised by poverty and yet their greed was never tarnished. That is the working of you! A woman in her late seventies puts positive energy into the unwritten journals they keep only to learn it wasn’t enough. Never enough! So they kept stealing, cheating and beating up members of other neighborhoods. You invited war to this side of America! You’re right! You don’t want to be recognized in public. Just like the hunter chasing the deer through assumed forests of peace, you stand behind an old woman to do nothing more than use her name, face and voice to soften the delivery of possibility only to learn the child you took last night has one last will and testament…revenge. Interviewer: Martyr! Super hero wants his name in print! Do you know why you are lying lifeless on your back with less than fifteen minutes of pump left in the bump, bump in your chest? Iaam: I can only play so much of this! Most subjects aren’t taboo until you start messing with a deeper belief system. I can handle an open territory. It’s always worth tossing out a joke or two because it challenges you to become stronger and walk taller as a Christian or someone who has been to hell and doesn’t want to go back. But eventually every page in the book has to be turned or you’ll be stuck editing the first chapter. There’s not a soul on this planet that doesn’t have a little bit of the devil inside. I’d say it’s how I get my best radio interviews. It’s sort of like telling a white lie…being devilish doesn’t mean I follow the dude. It helps me dig a hole without having to rip a shovel from the garage and plant the sharp end of it into dirt I didn’t really want to move. Interviewer: Most people are filled with fright this far into the departure. Again I invite you to try and open your eyes. Iaam begins to protest: You aren’t controlling my life! What I see, feel, hear and touch is extremely real because there is nothing different about this day Interviewer: I’ll open them for you… Sand resembles purity because all things that flow through it lose what might have led to a harder fall. When dampened by waves crashing against the shore whimsical birds race to the waters edge begging the creator to be able to see more so it can eat more. Life is no different. The human mind consumes at the tick of every tock, one leads to sixty, then another sixty and within those numbers days become years and if lucky you might graduate to plenty. Once complete the one they call man raises his arms in disgust begging God to gift him with more and more! When in reality…isn’t every day long enough? How many gifts do you receive before Christmas no longer comes with purpose? When you purchase presents for friends, family and neighbors, to whom are you giving this energy of feeling great and wonderful…to them or to you? Admit it. Their tingles explode within the caverns that make you up, sending an echo out into the rest of the world that bellows how fun you are and how loving and good spirited you will always be. You want to be the keeper of the ark. To preach forty days and nights from within storms so thick each that has lived has been given enough love to repopulate. Overcrowded is a bound up heart that’s spent unheard of amounts of time testing the waters edge…is it too cold, too warm and too deep or was shallow what you truly searched for? To gift is not my lesson. I need no soap box to deliver my message. It is you who comes to me…I’m always ready. But whose path did you accept while constantly grabbing? Iaam: Nooooooooo! Nooooooo! I can hear him crying like a baby who has been forced from a nice warm womb fed by a constant rhythm of a mother’s heart. Suddenly there is no security. Iaam: Please God! I’m so cold! I’m fascinated by truth and how a man and woman live in nothing more than what we conclude. You wish to live in fame so you act like a king. You wish to break bread with only your friends so you’ve created paths only leading to them. I come along and all that is, really isn’t. What remains is nothingness and the human mind can’t handle it. Iaam hurts but not a tear is shed. That would require energy which is currently being utilized by a lack of knowledge. For if he had accepted me as his leader…none of this could or would be. Iaam: Dear God, my creator in Heaven…I stand before you with unconditional love and spirit. Truth to the human soul means nothing to the slice of flesh delivered by reality’s sharp edge. If suddenly the assumed became the uninsured, to handle the situation is no longer your thick black book fed by comical trails of many tears commissioned to fill your head with oceans of ear deafening fear. Delivered is light that can’t be blocked nor fought off. Therefore you’ve convinced yourself to die. It’s too bright which causes your skin to curl and before it falls to an earth torched by the bloodstains before you. The uncaught tear your body wants to release becomes nothing but anticipation, a personal vow to hold out hands, arms, legs and back begging me to cut deeply into your once strong shell forcing the soils from hell to enable me to sear the remnants of a past that cannot be changed, backing you into a wall that no longer exists. Iaam: I will not walk the way of the fire keeper! I have faith in God! You can’t feel in a dream. What you experience is an obligation to rip your eyes from their sockets because what’s being delivered is hot acid on the tongue that creates a newer sound toward communicating. Iaam: Pick me up Lord! If this is the test of a lifetime then I cannot lose if knowing and accepting You is what I guaranteed. Interviewer: The noises you make could wake up the dead. Wait…you’ve already made it there! Look at how powerful I am! Iaam: God would never turn His back! Only my God knows if today is the day I am to truly die! Interviewer: I give you fifty three minutes to paste your soul onto the front door of my world and this is how you want to drop from the face of an over cultured planet? Ego! Your heart is crushed by the impact of false hope! Oh you could talk a swift smooth swagger, secretly methodizing station propaganda with religious studies. You assumed the words you spoke meant something to others. If they could only see your vivid imagination now as it pours itself into the palm of my Everlasting. Iaam: Love and hate are indifferent. You being here is the indifference; it’s an interview with the demons I’ve embraced while being carried by the love of God. Every street corner! Every restaurant and shopping mall! The color of a single ribbon didn’t invite horrible flashbacks of a life I couldn’t correct; you put them in front of me to keep my open palms from grasping newer ways to locate love and joy. Interviewer: I put the shard of glass in your right hand to carve a path into a future. Your left arm is the closest to your heart and the assumed heavenly father figure. Count out loud how many opportunities you stole from the night to free your body of the blood he created! You aborted God! Hold that arm out and count the scars that remain on the one vital part of your body linked to his love! Iaam nears a spilling of tears: 53… Interviewer: You lashed out against your creator fifty three times? You have tattoos! You have three holes in your left ear! You might as well stand before him and curse the Lords name in vein… Iaam cries: You tore into me like starving rats on a scavenger! Interviewer: Your failures feed me. I’ve had the time of my life watching you try to reinvent something that doesn’t or will ever exist. Love is innocence and you can’t walk five inches without being yanked back to a lifestyle you created! I’m the bystander who watched as you drowned in teenage alcoholism. I held your head up so vomit wouldn’t become your last will and testament. Iaam protests: But I stopped…there’s been no alcohol. I’ve never smoked cigarettes. No pills! Nothing’s been snorted or shot up. Interviewer: Because if you had…you would’ve been dead. I kept your body free from false idols. I guaranteed you life. How dare you say I’m God’s indifference! I am the love you sought. I sheltered you during the first six months of your marriage when all she wanted to do was play with other boy toys. I picked you up in the third grade when Todd silently put you to sleep then dropped your lifeless self on a head incapable of taking the impact. I am your yesterday; your today and I can be your tomorrow. Give me your heart and I shall give you life after death…. Being succumbed by nervousness forces one’s ability to perform unguarded, shoving your senses into catastrophic fits of shaking. His mind can’t predict, layout or perform at a normal snails pace because fear races through him faster than the speed of sound creating shockwaves of ear piercing sonic booms that rock his heart to the point of wanting to stop. Not now child…I want my full fifty three minutes of pleasure. You are my pornography. To watch you slowly erasing a life once capable of writing and speaking thoughts that a passerby could turn into a better day puts the scent of sweet tasting sugar in my veins like heroin adds sight to the addicted willing to survive. You reckless coward! It’s all too easy for me whisper your name goodbye and selfishly I elect to play in your pain. You scramble in a body lost without air like a battery operated toy begging for a jolt of juice. Your eyes seem lost without color. The golden halo once admired before the pupil invited sight to your song has been lifted from your fingerprints now resting in my art gallery of accomplishment. Without color my friend, you stare toward the cluttered floor where your feet have been wagging like a six month old puppy dog’s tail. Nearly numb from the truth you’ve created. The excess baggage you hold consists of the final sheet of poetry I shall never beg you to write, for I know every letter scratched into the circles of a once living tree bore my name and it was your guarantee to credit me that kept my fingers from wrapping around your neck at fifteen. Iaam continues to cry: God said the devil will have no face therefore he will never have lips to spread evil to my ears. If there is sound it’s because my mind, not my heart, has created it. I will be challenged in ways no man can speak of because such truths may cause others just as weak to bleed through means of inspiration. So if it is to be that today is the day my Father, Creator and Holy Spirit is calling my ambition to leave this home, then my greatest gift will be to stand next to God searching for newer ways to place love in the hearts, minds, body and souls of unspoken truths that sit within the unpaved rhythms of those who become lost due to the pressures of everyday life. I will not allow your words to cut into me like the blades once held by trembling fingers begging not to die! But to feel! So that when alive again, I could continue trying to bring people to God. I never once wanted to be shoved away from this planet! I wanted to live and to live meant to feel and to feel meant I could reach farther into a mud covered destiny putting me face to face with you so that when speaking to others I could describe you. I will not give you the energy required to conquer the dreams of a soon to be desert. You disgust me! You make me sick and in being sick you are a true gift from God because more than any time in my life…I can feel! Interviewer: Feel? Nobody wants to feel unless its love and joy! You beg to become part of something while slashing the rule books to keep up with neighbors who brag of having more and when you catch up they’re still miles ahead of where you last parked the minivan. The ages are baked with losers who’ve raced between the numbers on a single calendar suddenly seeing their image buried beneath gray eye brows and a body that sags and drags in a shadow fighting to cut itself free from having to relate with a life of nothingness. That’s why I push people to devices of comfort. Addiction creates numbness. The bloodied hand may leave stains on the carpeted floor, but in the end its lifeless grip remains an act of deafness. What you don’t want to hear is the ugly truth…you can’t stand to hear how you feel because it’ll taint what you see. Without notice you reek of oldness blessed by a stubborn stale attitude that would choke the air from a chicken sitting on a nest of continuation. Iaam prepares for war: Wrong! I put value in mindfulness. To not only seek peace but to share it with a willing passerby. Through mindful-thinking I breathe deeply to replenish the ingredients every body and temple requires to stay alive. Each lung is gifted with Gods knowledge of the proper path to deliver the invisibleness of relationship. While breathing out it becomes my passion to release from the grips of hidden caverns your constant reinvention of a faceless odorless hell. Interviewer: You created your own hell! Your eyes caught the scent of fantasy and your body chased it until it was fed over and over again. You didn’t lead! You followed! Every book! Every lecture! Every childhood Sunday morning church class was an act of weakness! I sit without shame inches from his frame. His eyes bloodshot from battles he has already fought. Every word spoken is a verse already rehearsed, the calming of the heart and mind one generates while filing for extensions to an overtaxed life and style. That’s his meditation; his mindful way of thinking. Untouched by my nature, tortured by his own creation. A two minute timeout might be wise but the clock never tells lies. The poor child with so much ability to speak, inform, inspire and motivate the sick, tattered and torn and all things connected to folklore will whisk from the weaves of everlasting change making room for the next in line to say my name. Interviewer: Follow me and I’ll guarantee you one last glance at the world you’re leaving… Iaam: Why would that be important if I have no future to change? Interviewer: Game over! I win! You just quit God! Silence… The unexpected pause; long like a child’s Christmas whisper, visually drawn out to captivate the idea of having no air to feed his river of creativity. Missing was a soft summer breeze or maybe the timid sound of a babbling creek. Face to face we sat between two walls made of solid granite hardened then weighted by guilt while nearly reaching the admitted truth behind what we agreed. My vow wasn’t to step toward his final remains and offer shame like teachers rip into sheets of paper with giant red pens of opinionated destinations! My visitation comes in the name of celebration. I’m proud of his accomplishments believing his personal endeavors, although blinded by a God he truly never knew, reached beyond what I expected or was guaranteed on that ever so hot late afternoon. Today, this day, only thirty three seconds remain; not a word, sniffle, realigning of clothing or an index finger removing tear crust from a barely fought confrontation. The radio man’s vision of splashing paint onto the canvas faded completely from his nearest thought. Heart broken and beaten, his silence told the story. Even more silence…as if to be playing the shot clock during the final game of a championship match between the leagues two biggest and greatest. Has he no fear to challenge the wickedness of my evil way? Has he bled so much that numbness has replaced the bluish tone of an outer shell that’ll quickly fade in the shadows of his name? I can’t grab his flailing hand. This one is a fighter. He tends to play off his weaknesses. A possum on the holy front, especially during chapters now written in memories he’s placed so far from reality that it hurts to think, he no longer remembers falling in love with my themes of being. August, 1976, one of our many early meetings. The wind whipped not once to swipe from the air the blazing heat caught between tumbling tumble weeds of the modern Wild West. Too hot to sweat and much too dry to leave water out longer than ten minutes, it would be gone, either attacked by the oval ball of fire in the melting sky or a passing buzzard aiming to sweeten the taste of a French fried muskrat trapped in a death trap down by the lazy river. The sweltering day would soon invite distance to a heart dedicated to keeping things straight. He’d felt the belt so many times from a father dedicated to manhandling his family that distance grew without the heart becoming fonder. Fingertips with unperfected gouges became his print usually changing every chance he could get. Iaam chews his dried skin and anything else, whatever it took to ease the invisible pain during times of near bloody anger or fear the size of mountains. He’d chomp on those fingers like a prairie wolf hunting down dust devils for fallen birds and other prey that couldn’t make it through the day. Unannounced to three or five straggling employees who found reason to set aside their open field chores to get along with the slickers, the fourteen year old boy with a bowl cut crew styled shave slowly pushed open the tall glass doors as if to have located a chilled glass of lemonade. JC Penny…a two story department store ransacked hourly by every farmer and his kids for no reason other than to touch what magazines had featured for years. Completely fascinated by music, the child’s eyes were quickly pulled toward a single weathered wall below the silver lined escalator. Scotch taped to the peeled paint were three posters featuring overrated musical artists. Their faces three times the size of his, each eye wandered not around but through him like that of an invitation… Rubbing his fingers from beginning to end as if to play lets pretend, his dirty hair stole from the meet and greet a mask that could be trusted. Clean cut, cute and friendly, no mop top spoiling a local image and yet his eyes refused to be removed from the idea of stealing something. Dipping his head toward the unwashed floor, to try and catch a glimpse of the eyes of his hurting soul, the corner of his dreams were interrupted by what seemed to be a streak of light reflecting from the silver lining of the constantly lifting staircase. That’s where he’d met me several times before…caught in the rapture of the mirror: a nineteen thousand foot window squished into a single inch, standing wide open to a world that gifted his agility with a swift pop of something worth shattering. A single eye locked onto an image reflecting pictures back to a sought after imagination that had shoved him higher than kites kissing clouds and lightning streaks at the origin of birth. To a passerby he looked to be mentally challenged. His eye leaned against the metal bar of the forward in motion escalator that chased people toward heaven for the purpose of shopping insanely. Ooh, I could read his mind! This time was no different than any other such gathering. It was candy, so sweet, unforgettably soft and blessed with valuable innocence. The lyrics leaped out at me from the wooden record bins labeled with titles but came with no pictures. And yet I could see what they were singing. It was as if my mind’s eye took from the grooves the hidden strength of possibility. I, being of temptation, felt no need to pull toward me but rather to continue being part of a far greater something. It was I who elected to fall, and then face the final curtain call. It was I who continued to shape his path, the mileage far greater than then I expected. I did nothing more than wait for him to come to me? The chase was over. To hold the hand, guide the dream, to put forth the effort of seeking by using not my history but rather his possibilities? To teach, to mentor and to paste large labeled amounts of greatness on a constantly budding nest of reinvention might I be more accepting by never exposing my proper identity until the day his soul returns to me? Interviewer: Guarantee that you’ll let everyone you touch, inspire, desire and motivate to laugh, smile, chuckle, cry tears of cheerfulness, sadness and everything in between…you’ll let them know that their incredible behaviors, ambitions, dedications, desires and fantasies come true were the invisible soakings of a masterful painter of the accused, but never proved, dirty dealings from a devil made up in the minds of the weak…horribly weak! First a cough, then another…his body allowed me to take over. A passion for song would serve as the perfume to gather the masses, any size, any make; their individual souls would become mine to keep forever. Not a shake in his hand; his fingers a sharp shooters paradise. Virtually invisible to the JC Penny staff, he lifted his head then walked outside taking with him the song that guaranteed me his life. A single breath that generated a wind storm nearly a half century strong has run unopposed inviting unaffected damage until confronted by change. Then I’d cut them off at the knees. One by one they fell. Some late at night while chasing secret inhibitions at bars, restaurants, dusty hotels stained by visits from a past that couldn’t be rewritten, dance halls and places of assumed openness . Standing before the maker of the smile knowing what had been sacrificed was worth crossing the line. Building my army for the Great War required a general’s keen vision of the forthcoming without making public the draft. The human mind and spirit in the hands of a single lifted sheet of black vinyl the size of a gallon jar lid. Once hidden, the rest would become my legacy. Large green, black, bright orange and sometimes blue striped spools of record collections magnetized the objective. Teach the untrained to speak in a way that reached through stereo speakers to lightly grasp nomadic questioners who placed their separation from crowded lanes of traffic onto a more acceptable unevenly paved roadway, measured by what was being said between the records and not within their highly produced presentation. Over and over he would play the stolen song while I sat on the opposite side of a teenager’s act of aggression captivated by his lack of wanting to participate with anything or anyone else moving in his direction. The thin edge of destination required no conversation. Therefore an unmarried relationship relied on trust, from pen to paper, callused fingerprints to stretched strings, instrument to tape, compressed in a way only a diamond tipped needle could romance its steps back into play. Within a second, thousands of thoughts from its origin, my imagination, gave birth to this little discovery: a radio DJ who would work for me. My compassionate plan is to gain access to his trust. To allow his willingness to softly slip within the unmarked depths of unguarded temptation like naked bodies gliding across gently cooled moonlit waters. I’ll surround his school days with openness and reality, never making him popular but likable and generous. A sports filled life will be null and void. I require that time to feed his dreams with family and friends who will occasionally salt the brewing stew with a rare expression of bending the rules. I want him to know death by its scent. I require him to know it before life jumps into it. Therefore I shall connect him to animals. The masters of come and go which should gift his nostrils with enough spunk to funk the trunk he carries into the chapters I have dubbed my time tables. Listed will be the names of those I need to reach. To appear before them will create fear, so it is his broadcasting feat that will earn me the invitation to make love with their unheard of dreams. Once inside, they become mine, attaching to their souls the poetic vibration of unfiltered communication, taking from their right to breathe the minutes and seconds belonging to someone other than me. He will be angry. He will hurt in ways that weighs down patience. He will cry out with writing instruments begging to climb giant invisible mountains. His kicks toward a wall only he sees will knock his balance off guard leaving portraits of a self he recognizes as being everything that is and has become me. His prayers and dreams will be about me. The light sought at the end of every presented tunnel will be me. He’ll see only me when looking into the only set of eyes he will marry. And the way he will be trained to speak shall carry the unprotected questions harnessed by a poet in motion, then delivered by a master of intension, making him wise before his time and then he will die. Instantly, his followers, without a blink and not a second too soon will become mine to forever keep; to use in my own loving way that will make them students of the darkness to which I light when walking with arms wide open. Keep spinning those records child of mine! Become blind as well as deaf. The more you disconnect the easier it will be for other lost children to reach your chartered destination. The fruits which I place on a single tree will feed what you cannot see. I will gift their desires with just enough of the impossible to make it believable. One by one you will gather them, creating a forest of un-harvested reminders. Every step you take will be toward the world I create. Books and stones bathe my name in fear and hate until the day you step forward to make me greater than great. I don’t believe in stealing if the items being borrowed benefit the lives of those outside your current circle. Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor while John Derringer elected to never take from the common man but rather from the over flooded banks. The fruits of my forbidden tree are protected by no one. Therefore what you take is not stealing if you decide to use what was plucked from the innocence of limb meeting seeds to bring more people to teach. A laborer of lyrics, this one is. A live performance stage with colossal amplifiers that create vocal rebounds like white capped waves slapping a beach into place is his most approachable dream. One in a field of many might see it through. I work with guarantees not a broken promise or a sometimes maybe. Albums, 45’s and 8-track tapes bring the glee club to his theater. Through him followers shall arrive, a passerby who enjoys the vibe, rhythm and overtone of something you can’t outgrow. Musical favorites captivate, stimulate, manipulate and monopolize decisions made when regurgitated while dodging the center lines on life’s everyday highway. This one is mine. I saw him for the first time at the Baptist Temple’s open air religious flea market, my pleasure palace for those about to fall. Gatherings in the name of missionaries who have just returned from thick uncut jungles, horridly hot deserts, body caving starvation and poverty so bad milk becomes powder and tonight’s dinner is under that garbage can lid. Two gentlemen the size of children in grownup ties and bright blue suits performing magic tricks, proving to the soldiers of God how fast the hand is compared to the laziness of the human eye. “The devil is creative!” One of the missionaries shouted from the cut up tree now folded into a soapbox on which he stood. A podium so tall it made Jesus look like a disciple. “The devil spends hours locating new tricks to treat your eyes. He wants your body to move beyond reality and fall into his arms of assumed grace. Brothers and sisters I ask that you look at this beautiful red balloon! It is your mind, body and soul! Now…let this needle in my other hand become the devil, watch as he manipulates his way into the balloon without destroying your life.” Slowly the man in blue with a voice like a cranky crow slid the devil’s touch into the veins of what the entire congregation believed would pop. It didn’t… Nice! I shouted to myself. You’ve perfected the perfect dream. Allow the devil inside sweet children…he’s not as terrible as it would seem. The missionaries elected to compete, “The devil is so strong that he’ll steal the air from your lungs while you sleep.” Pulling the needle from the balloon its energy began to fade eventually becoming a flabby piece of plastic meat. Even I had to shake my head…it was ugly! How cruel can being the devil be? Pick it up you lazy brat! Brush it off and put some tape on it! I didn’t kill the balloon! I’ve reshaped you. The magic seemed perfect as it led the children to Jesus. Then it came time to minister. Taking my seat in the farthest corner to not be seen, I noticed Mike and Tim slamming their fingers in the book of hymns. Not my kind…too easy, I thought to myself before being interrupted by the call of God’s tool. “It brings great sadness to me to announce tonight that Mr. Edwards, the bus driver, couldn’t be with us this unforgettable night. While working today…” The missionary stopped to wipe what looked like real tears from his incredibly young looking eyes. The pause in the performance was long, dramatic and steered clear from anything magic. “Mr. Edwards lost both of his legs in a tragic car accident this morning.” Like a sonic boom the gasp could be heard for miles followed by sniffles from noses strong enough to suck in ten Christmas trees. Mr. Edwards is a well loved man. He drives the children to and from Sunday school and now something extremely tragic has happened. The children in the congregation are crying! Their eyes so swollen it looked as if ten thousand bees were fed into the church to do nothing but sting, sting and sting. “Mrs. Edwards is with us tonight. Praise God…Dear sweet woman will you please rise and be with me on stage this shocking evening?” The radio man of my choosing, still in a child’s shell, stood up quickly. He felt something incredibly heavy. It was too large to hold, much too invisible to see. It couldn’t be recognized in a crowded room to give it a name. He knew of only one thing…Mrs. Edwards must have also felt this way. He broke congregation policy and ran to her, “I’m so sorry!” He cried out in tears so thick a soup kitchen was opened in the row he just fled. “I am so sorry Mrs. Edwards!” Not wanting to be overshadowed, the missionary regained control, “Brothers, sisters and Mrs. Edwards…nothing shocked me more today, and in this life, than to hear of your husband and fellow family member being tragically injured in a storm of fire that left him with no legs! No legs to walk! No legs to help carry! No legs to step into a future loved by so many.” Silence hurts when serious vibrations rock the stones which we love to throw. Not a breath was heard taken. Not a hand was shoved into a book of songs then quickly removed before being slammed. Not a need to steal from the silver plate as it rounded the room. Not even a willingness to get up and use the restroom or take a child outside to cry. “Mrs. Edwards…your husband and my brother were taken down today because it’s clear to all of us that he sold his soul to the devil! The keeper of darkness, hatred and wicked affairs wants what belongs to him back!” The radio man shot out of his seat, “No! No! Mr. Edwards loves God!” “Someone have that child removed from this room immediately!” The order came from the missionary and it was at the very moment the child’s hand was touched that I became part of his life forever. No needles and balloons, drugs or drops of alcohol, no pornography, act of stealing, killing, adultery or determination to be bad on any good Sunday. The kid was mine and religion was to blame. Iaam: My soul didn’t belong to you! I didn’t ask to be thrown out of church only to find myself basking in your love with open arms! How dare you turn a child’s nightmare into a feeding frenzy! Interviewer: You will not force me to stop the hands of time to prove an act of innocence! Thirty ticks and you elect to talk. Your life is poisoned with too much courage and it is that river of venom that elects to call me a liar? Do not fall asleep angry! You, sir, will not dream in the seconds that follow a lack of breathing. What you see will not be a memory. What you feel lacks championship. All that is won’t be and in the absence of body, mind and spirit you will be one hundred percent nothing.” Iaam: I was invited into this world! Knowing of each possibility I knew my mistakes would be greater than many. I’ve never tried to be perfect nor have I allowed my ego to penetrate the surface of my being. I heard the voice of God whisper the calling and through His love and knowledge I obeyed His every command! Interviewer: Where is your God during this moment of questioning? In Iaam’s face, paler than the tales of an already told journey, the question I presented did nothing but sit there and burn. A flame, then a puff of smoke, red at times then yellow at the tips before exposing something of blue but never hot enough to recreate his origin of truth. I would assume he didn’t know of the one who made him so bold; the chosen word that would protect him for ever keeps. Finally looking toward the clock that would not stop, he lie there, reminded of nothing, a blank stare, an empty heart, a palm that no longer reached toward another in need, not even the self proclaimed king of caring. Like that of a lemming that performs dances, his need to be still impersonated something he called real until unexpectedly questioned. For there was no God to offer protection—no God to sweep from his lungs the tragic ending of a troubled son and there was no God to mask the blades that ripped into his skin in the name of letting go of so much invisible pain. He would die with no God at his bedside. No God with answers or reasons to play let’s pretend. Growing up worthless in spirit left him lifeless in legacy. And I could take him away from all of this. He denies me today just as he did yesterday and the weeks and years before. I used him to gather the sticks and stones to throw by using names that never hurt him. I made him famous within the unwritten sympathies of marital toss outs. Rotund and oddly thin, the idealist with modest hope, the disposed with no way to escape, the scratched and torn, recast and restructured but still not strong enough to walk on stilts. A doctor of love by means of gravity, the act of pulling misplaced character toward him so that each night just after midnight I dined on the soft tissues which contained discovery. Those he never saw because it was I who looked into their eyes. I mined the shafts and crafted the keys to retrieve what could not be seen. He provided the voice coupled with compassion, leaving the front door wide open for everything that is me and will be me to walk in. And so I did…endlessly. And now I want my credit. This one has provided me with reconstructed weak people to add to an already strong body; a single congregation to teach, study, and then lead. It is within their tattered biographies that his absence shall grow. His memory will resemble my words and wisdom giving birth to a new church. They shall feel my glory! They shall know my story! Their verve shall act as goblets collecting buckets of blood like rain captured by barrels used during times of drought and lack of merriment. His steps have been and continue to be their steps inspired by my beauty. Interviewer: Where is your God? Iaam prays: Be with me my Father and Creator of all things. Allow Your strength to walk within my heart adding confidence and faith to any step I take. Interviewer: Barely a beat left to pound, nearly nothing in the chords that once held your sound… Iaam: You’ve taught me patience my Father, my Creator. Although deeply challenged I ask that the lessons never stop, for my spirituality is what makes me who I am. Interviewer: Seconds from being saved by my caring way and you elect to waste my space! Iaam: I shall build my tomorrow by whispering, I can. Interviewer: Why do you elect to ignore the comforts I offer? Iaam: I will play with my today by admitting change, for no heart beats the same. Interviewer: Where is your God? Iaam: There are too many steps leading toward heaven. Interviewer: Three, two…! Iaam: I shall not pretend my Father and Creator! It only puts value in dried flowers sitting on a shelf. And just like that he let go…fifty three minutes to make a straightforward decision and he paints the portrait of a weathered rope grasping to keep a firm grip on a sight unseen guarantee. Not one interruption from his God! I made the effort to love and support! I physically proved my difference while he fought and fought to convince me that God’s difference doesn’t seem to require a presence during a time of departure. How dare his God not show the creases in a face so famous! Foolish are those who put faith in the shredding of body meeting soul. Eternity does not exist beyond my nearest touch! I am here! Is that not enough to prove my worth? I loved you! I stood next to you during the toughest decisions of your life. I devoted my passion to your willingness to serve the public in places of play that many dream. It was I who brought the lost, weak and hungry to your ways of speaking! It was I who added sun to your shadowed moments knowing once you regained your strength your ability to be unique fed my rivers of destiny. I was your best friend at high school parties opening doors to secret thoughts and getaways. Your first beer, listen to me! We shared a moment of laughter and never ending numbness while participating with stupid teen stuff that swiped from the air the fearless journey of your broadcasting wanna-be friend Rory. He was the better disc jockey so I got him out of the way. That’s what friends do! I tied his brain up in knots allowing you enough time to escape the defeat he could have easily dealt you. I’m the true friend who put the lethal dose of PCP in that well disguised long slender homemade pipe. I absorbed the unforgettable energy generated that cold winter’s night. It was completely hilarious the way his eyes instantly shot to the back of his skull as his body screamed silently in terror. He couldn’t hear jack! It was like getting lost in a giant corn field surrounded by fat hungry snakes. That five hundred foot tree was no longer part of your forest. You were inches from being discovered. Those were the days! Rory disappeared like a ghost walking through mountain walls of nothingness. You felt so much pain but who took it away? You cried so hard your pillow became an ocean of fear and because you didn’t speak to your parents they always assumed they failed at raising kids. Your stepfather couldn’t keep sober if his life depended on it. The night he broke into your bedroom and swiped every speaker and cord connected to those beautiful radio dreams, I stood next to him handing each tool to his determination to take more and more. I love this game! Your entire life was nothing more than a car with one headlight lost somewhere in the middle of a fog bank. Where was your God to pull you from every blade that tore into that assumed innocent flesh? Yes! It felt incredible to flee from so much misery! Yes, it gave you a high much brighter than sex for the first time! But I never let you die. I never let go of your hand because in the end I knew we would be forever friends. Until this moment…I cannot stand the idea you gave me no credit! Look at how you have treated me! You bragged about a God who never put His grace on the pages you write. You gave Him credit for everything and me nothing! You hate me! I don’t know why! I fed you fame and everything that goes with it like it was candy and you have allowed it to get away. I am your Lord! I am your creator! I took everything fake and fantasy and made it real. I unlocked your mother’s safe so you could steal hundreds of old collector’s coins to buy thousands of records. You needed music to pursue a life of radio. Young, hip, in style and constantly kept in-the-know of all things freshly released which showcased a side of you that programmers couldn’t keep their hands off. Yes they abused you! You would not give me credit. I forced your hands into giant fires to burn God’s love off the skin connected to your bones because in the longest ways we traveled, every inch of you belonged to me and because I wanted my credit! Decision makers tore your dreams to mere fragments nearly naked to the eye because when you felt weak it gave me strength. That is what true friends do! They prepare your Everlasting with everything that makes two single paths a well lit highway to guide followers directly toward my every reason to control the emotions of emptiness, bloodshed and children never being fed. I can change that by guaranteeing reality and not streets paved with gold. You know for a fact that is nothing more than a salesman selling Fords off a used car lot. Where is your God? Why can’t I hear Him speak? Wake up! I wanted to see you sweat, to break at the knees, to watch your face melt like ice cream. I demanded to take you on and in doing so, spread your wings and ripped the skin off your holier than thou feathers leaving you scrawny and without influence. Ugly sells! The more you hated yourself they lined up like pigs begging for slop. Your soured dreams made everyone of them the masters of their own Fantasy Island. For me to reacquaint our love, our relationship, me being the king of eternity, it was necessary for your heart to shatter and your soul splatter. I needed your flesh to stretch across the bridge of birth then death. Wake up! I am not a voice in your head! I am the devil inside! How can we be so distant and you not miss me? You created this hell and I expected you to guide each follower to my front door. You failed me! You’re a loser! You do not deserve to live! You have taken from the lives of millions the opportunity to be with me and I hate you like I have never hated anyone before! What do you want from me? Do you want me to open your eyes exposing the doors of reality? I’ll give you your life back! I’ll put air into every corner of your lungs! Tell me what you require to fulfill my dreams! Make me happy! Give me a single sentence, wish or command and everything that was will be again! Visitor: What you speak can no longer be heard. I have taken my child to a safer place to heal. Go now and leave him to me… Interviewer: I want what I deserve! Bring him back to me so he can credit me! Visitor: I am the wind, the rain, the music and dream. I am the gentle kiss of red released at the birth of a fresh rose while being the scent of a poet’s pen before his writing begins to glow. I walk softly and with great pride when they cannot during times of tremendous weakness. I patiently stand back and listen when my children are spiritually challenged. I am a whisper of peace in the middle of your worst war. I am a vision held while paranoia forces a child to sit alone. I am every new beginning met by unreleased memories. I am me…and it is I who has stood by this communicator since the day he was born. Interviewer: Iaam! Come back to me! You can finally be that radio on-air talent in the largest cities. I will make you more mighty and memorable than television stars turned game shows hosts. Crack the ice and walk back to my world of warmth! Give me the message, the clearance, the credit I need to make way for the lost to find me and their destiny. Silence… Visitor: What do you expect to hear from him if it is to be? Why so much compassion for the millions you try to keep from me daily? It is not love. It isn’t a promise or a guarantee to stand beside each during times of question, sickness and unexpected challenges. Your deepest wish is to do nothing with… If you had only chosen to listen closer to the supple wind that invited light to this radio station studio, might you have changed your mind when you scolded him for believing in something of a spirit? I have been here the entire time. It was I who made him incredibly strong during times of what you assumed was silent. I spoke directly into his heart. I am his guide. I shall be his forever keeper. I created him and will turn his voice back into dust when it is written by my hand not the command of the weakest of all beings…you who cannot stand being without friends and that is why you do nothing but pull them in. Interviewer: You are a liar! You don’t love! You destroy! I don’t flood the plains or whip wind around until there’s nothing! It is you they run from because everything about you is feared. I offer comfort. I give them what they need. It is you who calls it stealing! I have named it opportunity. You rob without weapons from the lungs a final breath before a child is nine. You break hearts when teens first fall in love. You are the maker of destruction and it’s always been me who shelters the children of the world from the glorified broken dreams written off by parents who gently tell their innocent souls, “I guess it wasn’t meant to be.” Visitor: And do you think if everything wished and hoped for was shared, happiness and love would be found there? If you are in need of knowing how my child truly dreams, I shall give him back to the world that would have other wise found tremendous silence in their vows to keep growing the moment they learned of his passing. Three minutes of hard fought thought and the one I chose finally reacted. The glory felt when his lungs recaptured a glimpse of fresh air forcing his head with long colorized hair to stretch back, begging to be reignited by means of recognition. Fingers slightly spread like a butterfly escaping the imprisonment of a cocoon. I could see the sun rising through the changing color of his skin. My child was returning, making me the happiest creator on earth! His eyes! Show me your eyes! Laying my right hand on the face that once graced the pages of major broadcasting magazines, not a print was left for his skin didn’t carry enough blood. So gray he appeared to be, touched by a blue tinting like a flock of birds singing my praise. Speak to me! One single thought as a gift for this second chance of living; simply giving me credit for everything beautiful and filled with meaning. Look at the long lashes that line your closed eyes. Move them child and give me what is mine. Speak in the way you spoke on the radio. Tell me only the good stuff so that all that is wrong can fall quickly to floor to be walked on. Fulfill everything that is me by giving me the credit I so deserve. Faded lips, too dry to pry apart…let me hear you think. Nothing! Try harder child of mine! Find what is right in your heart and give me what rightfully should be shared. I have taken the dare. Now it’s time to prove your love and care. Ooh, so that’s all it took to open those eyes! The light brownish color with shadowed yellow will return…you have my everlasting guarantee. For now, please stay away from a mirror. They look empty, and appear to need a guide. I am here this day, leading into every night. Let me hear you think. Tell your Lord and Savior of Everlasting what you expect to present to the awaiting radio world once you revisit its presentation within the constant avenues of change. Interviewer: I am your God. You hear me speak. Tell me child what it is you think. Iaam, with barely a drop of water between his lips he quotes, “ John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” What the devil couldn’t do in fifty three minutes God spoke in fifty three words. **Note: The idea for this book came to the writer traveling to work at 4am. It was to be written while in the radio station production studio only. The book idea was started on June 13, 2009. The first draft was completed on July 21, 2009. On that same day the author, a radio on-air talent and commercial producer was struck down by a heart attack. While being transferred to a downtown hospital he spoke one-on-one with emergency officials about the book. When asked how the story ended, the radio talent softly laughed and said, “John 3:16.” Only one time did the talent feel fear…the moment he looked out the back window of the fast paced ambulance and realized they had driven past every radio station he had been part of during his twenty five years of broadcasting in the city.